West Indies captain confirms being dumped by selectors
Darren Sammy has been fired as captain of the West Indies Twenty20 team.
Sammy, who four months ago led the regional side to their second International Cricket Council Twenty20 title, upstaged any official announcement from the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), by taking to social media to reveal that he had been dismissed by the selectors.
Sammy, who has retired from Test cricket but is still available in the two shorter forms of the game, posted a video on his Facebook account today where he said he would not be West Indies T20 captain anymore. Sammy said the chairman of selectors Courtney Browne had informed him via a 30-second phone call that the selectors had “reviewed the captaincy of T20” and he did not merit a place in the West Indies squad.
“I got a call yesterday morning, it was probably 30 seconds, from the chairman of selectors telling me that they’ve reviewed the captaincy of T20 and I won’t be captain anymore of the T20 team, [and] my performances have not merited selection in the squad,” Sammy said in the video.
“But that’s okay, I’ve always believed West Indies cricket is not about Darren Sammy. They are looking to the future and I want to wish the new captain – I don’t know if it’s out yet so I won’t call any names – all the best as he looks to lead West Indies cricket and take it forward.
“Obviously, throughout my captaincy, winning the two [T20] World Cups has been the highlight. And these memories I will cherish for a long time. This is not me retiring from one-day or T20, it’s just me thanking the fans and my players and the coaches I’ve worked with and WICB for…yeah, letting me lead the side for the last six years. But for now the captaincy has come to an end and thank you people.
“I just know I played with my heart and soul whenever I stepped out on the cricket field,” he said.
A visibly emotional Sammy started by talking about the CPL campaign of his team St Lucia Zouks, that lost the eliminator to Trinbago Knight Riders last night, before talking about losing his West Indies captaincy and his exclusion from the T20 squad. The limited-overs team is scheduled to play two T20Is against India in Florida at the end of the month.
“Six years ago I was asked to captain West Indies, a task which I fought [and] would be the biggest challenge in my career, in my life. A task which I know would be so difficult but guess what…I took it head on. I embraced the challenge, I embraced the difficulty. I turn up at the office which is my playground, the cricket field, every day and put in the work.
“I started off with Ottis Gibson [then West Indies coach]. I want to thank you buddy for believing in me and now it has ended up with Phil [Simmons]. To my players all over the years, who’ve been part of the team and who’ve been under my captaincy, I want to thank you all for all the support. We’ve had our ups and downs but I have never given up hope, I have never stopped believing in myself and in the team. That is what I was about as captain – trying to instill positive, never-say-die attitude into my players. The result we won two World Cups and I want to thank all of you.”
Sammy also led the West Indies to victory in the 2012 Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka. However, in this year’s tournament the affable St Lucian was hardly a factor with either bat or ball. He faced 13 balls in his three innings, scored eight runs, and bowled three overs, taking one wicket. He has played 66 Twenty20 Internationals, scored 534 runs at an average of 15.70, a strike rate of 148.74 and 42 his highest score. He has also taken 44 wickets at an average of 24.27 and an economy rate of 7.28.
Sammy led West Indies in 47 Twenty20 Internationals starting in 2011, with 27 wins. After winning the T20 title in Kolkata in April this year, he had given an emotional speech at the post-match presentation, expressing his disappointment at the lack of support from the WICB and criticising its administration.
Following his outburst in India after winning the T20 title in April, WICB president Dave Cameron issued a public statement in which he apologized to the global audience for what he deemed Sammy’s “inappropriate comments” and promised to enquire into the reasons for them and to have the matter addressed.
Before that official statement had been released, Cameron, like Sammy, an avid user of social media, had posted a sarcastic tweet in response to Sammy’s comments stating: “When is the last time a critic paid one of your bills? Always remember that when you start to give them your energy.”
This makes the second occasion a sacked West Indies player has taken to social media to relate being dropped. Prior to the start of the ongoing West Indies/India series, wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin had tweeted about his exclusion from the Test side. His tone, however, was much different to Sammy’s as he berated Browne, questioning his ability as both selector and former West Indies wicketkeeper.