Simmons Signs New Ireland Contract

Phil Simmons
Phil Simmons has signed a new contract with Ireland
©Cricket Ireland

Phil Simmons has signed a two-year extension to his contract and will remain as Ireland head coach until the end of the 2015 domestic season.

Simmons took over from Adrian Birrell following the 2007 World Cup and has overseen consistent success during his time in charge.

Ireland have won the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier three times, qualified for the 2011 and 2015 World Cups, memorably beating England at the 2011 event.

Nine tournament successes behind him, Simmons is chasing a 10th title when Ireland meet Afghanistan in the ICC Intercontinental Cup final in Dubai next week.

His roll of honour includes two Intercontinental Cups, three World T20 Qualifiers, the 2009 ICC Trophy, the 2013 ICC World Cricket League Championship, the 2008 European Championships and the 2010 World Cricket League Division One.

"It wasn't a difficult decision to agree a further two years," he said.

"I love Ireland and the people, who have a similar outlook to life as West Indians. The team has been very successful, but importantly for me, they are still hungry for success and willing to learn and improve all the time.

"We still have a long way to go and it's an exciting period to be involved with Irish cricket, both on and off the field. We're putting in place foundations which will serve the sport well in the generations to come.

"There's always been quality in the Irish team, but we're adding genuine depth which can be seen now in the players who aren't in the squad. It's certainly made selection meetings a lot longer though!

"We've dominated at Associate level and now have ambitions to take the game in Ireland to the next level with our desire to become a Test nation by 2020. We're on course to meet the challenges and targets that have been set, and I'm delighted to be part of that set-up.

"I'd like to pay thanks to Cricket Ireland and the backroom staff - "the team behind the team" - who have been exceptional throughout my tenure, and made my job a real pleasure."

© Cricket World 2013