New Delhi: India's bowling coach Eric Simmons will take over as the head coach of Delhi Daredevils ahead of the fifth season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in April-May 2012.

The South African was also a bowling coach of the Daredevils. Former India fast bowler T.A. Sekar also returns to Daredevils as its mentor after a two-year stint with Mumbai Indians as team manager. Daredevils finished last in IPL-4.

GMR Sports' business chairman Kiran K. Grandhi welcomed Simon's elevation and Sekar's return.

'I am sure that Simons' taking over as Head Coach and Sekar's return as Mentor will help the team overcome the disappointments of last season and become most competitive again,' Grandhi said.

Daredevils captain Virender Sehwag said it would be exciting working with Simons.

'Eric has done a good job as Bowling Coach and now he can do that as Head Coach. I have a very good relationship with Eric. He has given me some good suggestions and he is a man with has a lot of experience in cricket and in life. I think our partnership will work well for the team,' Sehwag said.

'Eric can make a difference as has been with the team for a couple of years as Bowling Coach. If someone else had come, he would have to start from the scratch. It is good Eric has taken over and I am hoping he will do a good job. He has spent nearly four years working in India and has worked with a lot of Indian and foreign boys. He has been working with Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron and they are our biggest assets in Delhi Daredevils,' Sehwag added.

Simons, who is currently in Melbourne with the Indian team, said it is an honour to be promoted as the head coach.

'It is an honour and a wonderful challenge going into the new season. The IPL is a dynamic and exciting place for any cricketer to be involved in at the moment. To have the trust and confidence shown in me as coach is something I am grateful for. It is committed united of owners, management and players,' he said.

(Agencies)