A fuming Sammy
HAMILTON – West Indies captain Darren Sammy wants to spill his guts when it comes to his Windward Islands teammate and best friend Shane Shillingford being suspended from bowling.
For now, however, he’s going to let the West Indies Cricket Board and the powers that be deal with the issue.
The Windies skipper has bit his lip over the suspension of Shillingford due an illegal action but admitted there was a lot he would like to say about the issue.
There is a strong sense that West Indies feel harshly treated over Shillingford, whose doosra and traditional off spin were found to breach the 15-degree limit laid down by the ICC. Before the report was issued. Ottis Gibson, the coach, said “there are a few people around the world bowling with similar, if not worse actions”.
It is the second time he has been suspended from international cricket and the WICB is still digesting the full report before deciding on its next course of action. Marlon Samuels was also banned from using his faster ball although the impact on his immediate career is far more limited than for Shillingford.
“I’d love to spill my guts out and say what I have to say,” Sammy said on the eve of the third Test, in Hamilton yesterday. “No matter what the situation there is a procedure in which things are done. I’ve always been one who’s stuck by the rules. I don’t want to find myself in any compromising situation.
“I would have loved to say a lot of things, but I’ve always been a diplomatic guy, so I won’t take part in that. We all have our personal opinions. Some have voiced it and we’ll just put all our energy into this Test.
“The board and coach and director of cricket at home are going to handle it and I’m backing them to handle it in the best possible way for us as a team and especially for Shilly and Marlon.”
Sammy and Shillingford are domestic and international teammates, playing for the Windwards, so have known each other for many years. He wants West Indies to channel their feelings into the final Test against New Zealand which they need to win to level the series.
“Shilly is a very close friend of mine and he’s quite sad and disappointed about the results, but that’s life and sometimes you get curve balls thrown at you. You have to face it and come back stronger. It’s a tough pill to swallow. We all support Shilly as a team. He’s been through that before and hopefully his mental toughness will carry him through.”
“When your backs are really against the wall is when you can reach the highest point,” he added. “That’s what we face in this Test. We will go out and fight for one of our teammates, come out strong and hit back at New Zealand.
Shillingford is still with the West Indies squad in Hamilton, but Sammy said he hoped he would be able to return home to the Caribbean in time for Christmas before beginning the process of working on his action.
“I guess he wants to be home with his closer loved ones at that time,” Sammy said. “I would also suggest that he goes home and spends some time with his fiancée or his mum or his parent, where he will feel an even stronger bond and love and where he can move on.” (BA/PR)