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Phil Simmons to step down as Afghanistan coach after World Cup
Afghanistan News

Phil Simmons to step down as Afghanistan coach after World Cup

Phil Simmons will step down as Afghanistan coach after the World Cup, saying his goal had been reached by taking this side to the major event.

Simmons, who took charge of the side in December 2017, said he will not renew his contract after the World Cup.

"I have thought about it and I have actually given the ACB (Afghanistan Cricket Board) my notice that I will not be renewing my contract," Simmons told ESPNcricinfo.

"I will move on to something different once my contract expires on July 15."

With Simmons as coach, Afghanistan cemented a spot in the 10-team World Cup after beating West Indies in the final of a qualifying tournament last year.

Simmons also guided Afghanistan in their debut in Test cricket in India last year. They defeated Ireland to register their first-ever win in Test cricket.

"I signed up originally for 18 months and I think I have done a lot in this period. It is time for me to move on to something else now. To want to get to the World Cup -- that was ACB's goal at the time they appointed me," said the 56-year-old Simmons.

"My goal is always to leave things better than when I joined: the way we practise, the way we think about the game, the way we assess other teams. I've tried to help the players in all those areas."

Simmons' decision to quit comes at the back of the ACB's controversial change in the side's leadership, which brought an end to Asghar Afghan's four-year captaincy stint across all formats.

Gulbadin Naib was appointed ODI captain, while Rahmat Shah and Rashid Khan were given charge of the Test and T20I teams respectively.

Simmons said that he had not been consulted about the decision in change of leadership by the ACB and the national selection committee.

"No, I was not aware of it. I was not given any reasons. It was the decision of the Afghanistan Cricket Board and the selectors," Simmons said.

"How can I take it? I can't change it. So I have to just get on with what I have to do and make sure the squad is preparing in the same way I wanted them to prepare barring the (captaincy) change."

Afghanistan will begin their World Cup campaign against defending champions Australia on June 1.