Sammy’s chin up
Not everyone’s mood was dampened by yesterday’s heavy rains.
Darren Sammy has grown quite accustomed to weathering storms.
Publicly under fire for the greater part of a year, the beleaguered West Indies captain has a very positive outlook for his team’s chances ahead of the upcoming tours of England and Bangladesh despite the absence of several key, experienced players.
Sammy expressed his optimism during an interview with WEEKEND SPORT while in camp at the 3Ws Oval, saying he was eager to see some of the “greener” players stake their claim in the senior side.
“The whole idea is to give as many people an opportunity at this level,” said the St Lucian-born all-rounder.
“The selectors have a policy [of] exposing young players and rebuilding towards the T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka [so] we’ll just go out there and look to play the best cricket we can.
“A number of our guys are quite green, especially to the conditions in England as it is some of the guys’ first time in England [but] in life you have to face certain challenges and we just have to face these and manage them properly,” he added.
The comments came as the regional side prepare for two T20 matches against World champs England on September 23 and 25, and a two-ODIs, one-T20 tour of Bangladesh, next month.
But the squad will be without the services of Darren Bravo, Lendl Simmons and Ravi Rampaul for the England leg of the tour as those players will be turning out for Trinidad in the upcoming T20 Champions League.
This after Dwayne Bravo, Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard had ruled themselves out for any T20 duties this year after not playing in the domestic competition.
Their absence, along with the non-selection of experienced duo Shiv Chanderpaul and Ramnaresh Sarwan, resulted in the selection of four newcomers in a 13-man squad to England, where the regional side haven’t won a contest of any kind since 2009.
“The selectors select the team and right now my job is to captain it to the best of my ability. I don’t interfere with situations beyond my control,” said Sammy in response to the absence of veteran players.
“We’re just wishing everyone in the team the best in putting good performances and starting their careers.
“And like I said, it’s an opportunity for everyone to stake a claim in the T20 World Cup team to tour Sri Lanka next year in September so I am sure everyone’s eager to get out there.”
The first St Lucian-born cricketer to represent the West Indies, the 27-year-old Sammy has come under fire since taking over from Gayle for the rain-hit tour of Sri Lanka last November.
Under his captaincy, West Indies have won just one of the eight Tests they’ve appeared in while dropping 12 of 22 One Day Internationals in that span.
But the selectors have continued to show faith in the beleaguered all-rounder despite his diminishing returns with his bat as captain, by returning Sammy to the helm for these two tours.
It’s a point that isn’t lost on Sammy as he tries to regain some confidence to contribute more on that side of the wicket.
“They gave me the job again so it’s all well and good to know people have confidence in me,” Sammy said of being returned as captain.
“So I’ve been hitting a lot of balls, taking footage and showing it to Dessy [Desmond Haynes] and now here at the camp we can elaborate more on what he is seeing.
“So far I am feeling good and I am someone who has belief in my ability, I just have to go out there and put out the performances.”
The side will warm up for the tour of England with two T20 matches against the High Performance Centre at the Desmond Haynes Oval and the 3Ws Oval tomorrow and Sunday respectively.