A West Indian in distinctive green Ireland colours may take many by surprise when the two teams clash in the World Cup come Friday.

Phil Simmons, Ireland's coach and former West Indies all-rounder, wears his new hat with aplomb but is all set to face one of the stiffest tests of his career.

The 47-year-old Simmons easily qualifies as the most experienced member of the Irish squad, having had a taste of four previous World Cups — three as a player and one as assistant to Ireland coach Adrian Birrell in 2007.

In fact, Simmons is one of the few cricketers who played his first and last ODIs in the World Cup, separated by 12 years.

His one-day figures — 3,675 runs from 143 games with five centuries and 18 fifties — do little justice to his big-hitting talent.

And while he cannot turn back the clock, he has a chance this time to prove his credentials as an inspirational coach.— AFP

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