Simmons a 'father figure', says debutante Walsh

Sports

Simmons a 'father figure', says debutante Walsh

Friday, April 10, 2020

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ST JOHN'S, Antigua (CMC) —Novice West Indies leg-spinning all-rounder Hayden Walsh says he has embraced Head Coach Phil Simmons as a “father figure”, following his international debut for the regional side last year.

“He's like a father and I'd say he's like a father-coach,” Walsh told the Observer here.

“He's stern when he needs to be stern, he jokes around when it's time to joke around and when things are not right, he puts them into place, so it's like when your parents or father sees things are out of place and they would put them in place.

“I think he has been a real father figure for all of us, even the big stars and stuff, so I really enjoy playing under him.”

The 27-year-old's debut for West Indies last November coincided with Phil Simmons return for his second stint as head coach of the embattled side.

Walsh's graduation to maroon colours came following an outstanding season for Barbados Tridents in the Caribbean Premier League, when he topped the tournament wicket-tally with 22 for the eventual champions.

Instructively, Simmons also served as Tridents head coach, overseeing the franchise's first success in the tournament since 2014, following several lean seasons.

“I really enjoyed the Tridents set-up last year with the whole coaching staff and the team and everyone just gelled together,” said Walsh, who was born in the US Virgin Islands and has already represented United States at international level.

“And even in the times where we looked as if we were going to go out quite miserably, we still stuck together and fight it out to win the championship. So I think that was the most rewarding part of being part of the set-up.”

Walsh has had a decent start to life at the top level, averaging 33 with the bat from 10 matches and taking 12 wickets at 27 runs apiece. His unbeaten 46 under pressure against Ireland helped West Indies win the second ODI in Bridgetown, last January and take the three-match series.

His T20 form has been unflattering, however, with a mere 11 wickets from 16 appearances, with an economy rate of eight runs per over.


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