Windies blown off course by rampant India
If Phil Simmons has agreed to move back to the Caribbean after the World Cup to take over as coach of the West Indies, he may be having second thoughts after another inept batting display from the former Calypso Kings in Perth yesterday.
Although the West Indies recovered from 85-7 to a vaguely respectable 182 all out, it wasn't nearly enough against the defending champions India and the unbeaten Pool B leaders ran out four-wicket winners with 10.5 overs to spare.
The West Indies' net run-rate slipped back to -0.51 with one game left but a third win against the UAE should be just enough for them to qualify for the last eight, with Ireland and Pakistan having inferior run-rates and also meeting each other in the final Pool B match.
Persistent reports from the Caribbean say it's a "done deal" that Simmons will be leaving his head coaching post with Ireland after the World Cup, and the Trinidadian has only fuelled speculation by refusing to talk about the vacant position.
The 51-year-old, who played 26 Tests for the West Indies, is on record as saying the job is the only one he would consider leaving Dublin for, and Cricket Ireland would not try to hold him to his contract that expires in December.
Simmons understands the traditions of Caribbean cricket and its huge potential, but whether any coach is capable of arresting a decline from the heady days of Viv Richards to the disarray of losing so comprehensively to Ireland last month remains to be seen.
After taking over from Adi Birrell in 2007 and steering Ireland to the verge of playing Test cricket, Simmons has as much to lose as gain were he to leave now - but the call of home may prove irresistible.