Prior to the eleventh season of the Caribbean Premier League, the four-time defending champions Trinbago Knight Riders have named Phil Simmons head coach. Abhishek Nayar, the current associate coach of their sister franchise Kolkata Knight Riders, has been replaced by the former coach of the West Indies.
Phil Simmons, a former West Indies cricketer who had two spells as the head coach of the national team, resigned after his team’s lackluster performance in the T20 World Cup in Australia last year. After his retirement from international cricket in December 2022, Simmons assumed the coaching position for Dubai Capitals in the newly implemented International League T20.
In the inaugural edition of the tournament, he lead the Dubai-based squad to a playoff finish. Intriguingly, Simmons also witnessed success in the Caribbean competition, as he led Barbados Royals (then Barbados Tridents) to a CPL championship in his previous position. Kieron Pollard, captain of the TKR, expressed his enthusiasm for working with his former national coach.
“As captain, I’m thrilled to have Phil as our mentor. Working as a duo, we have fantastic chemistry. It’s wonderful that we have the opportunity to work for TKR, as we’ve already done so on the international stage. Trinbago Knight Riders captain Kieron Pollard said in an official statement that he hopes this combination will bring joy and exciting results back to his team.
TKR hopes to return in the eleventh edition of the tournament.
The Knight Riders are the most successful team in the history of the competition, with their fourth and final championship occurring in 2020. It will be intriguing to see if Simmons, who has an impressive pedigree at the highest level, can inspire the team in the upcoming tournament, which begins on August 16.
Last year, Pollard’s squad completed the season with the wooden spoon for the first time in the team’s history. On August 19, they will open their season against the 2021 CPL champion St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots.