Fans call for boycott over Sammy sacking
Darren Sammy’s apparent axing as West Indies Twenty20 captain has sparked outrage among West Indies cricket fans across the Caribbean, with several taking to social media platform, Facebook, to express disgust and to call for a boycott of the upcoming third Test against India starting in St Lucia on Tuesday.
Ironically, the Test is scheduled for the Darren Sammy National Stadium − formerly the Beausejour Cricket Stadium − which was renamed in the player’s honour after he led West Indies to their capture of the Twenty20 World Cup in India four months ago.
Through various posts on Facebook in recent days, fans blasted the West Indies Cricket Board and the selectors for their treatment of Sammy, with several contending the all-rounder had been victimised.
Well known Jamaican dancehall artiste, Mr Vegas, in a highly charged video posted on his Facebook page, argued that Sammy had been axed because he “spoke his mind and spoke the truth” − in a reference to Sammy’s public criticism of the WICB following the T20 World Cup final.
Describing himself as an avid cricket fan, Mr Vegas said Sammy’s removal was “disgraceful” and blamed the board and selectors for the Windies team’s decline in recent years.
Claudius Francis, former president of the Senate here, posted an open letter to Sammy on his Facebook page, where he praised the 32-year-old all-rounder for his leadership and for representing the region with “dignity, class … and pride”.
However, while Francis was critical of the WICB and chief selector, Courtney Browne, he reserved some of his ire for regional nation grouping, CARICOM, who he said had done little to effect change in the direction of West Indies cricket.
“Still, much as I think Cameron et al are to be blamed, there can be no escaping the role − or lack thereof − of the region’s political leaders,” Francis argued.
“Almost daily we heard from them at the CARICOM level of how the WICB was destroying cricket and needed to be replaced yet they did nothing at their individual local level to ensure that change took place.”
Other fans went as far as to call for a boycott of the upcoming Test as a means of protesting the selectors’ decision and making a statement to the WICB.
“To all fans in St Lucia and Trinidad who genuinely love West Indies cricket and who are concerned about the state of its administration and the future of the game, if you feel as though you have had enough of the WICB contempt and arrogance, then stay away from the upcoming Test matches as a demonstration of your rejection of the WICB,” one fan posted.
The fourth and final Test of the series is carded for Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain from August 18-22.
On Sunday, the St Lucia News Online reported that a protest by a group of fans was being planned for the opening day of the Test match here, and that many St Lucians were seemingly willing to consider boycotting the game.
Sammy took to social media on Friday to announce that he had been sacked as captain and dropped from the West Indies T20 side, after being informed by new chairman of selectors, Courtney Browne, in a brief phone call.