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Sammy ‘pumped’ up by Bajans


PHILIP HACKETT

Sammy ‘pumped’ up by Bajans

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Known and respected for their vast cricket knowledge, Barbadian cricket fans can also be brutally critical. West Indies captain Darren Sammy has often been the subject of that criticism but recently there has been greater appreciation of his efforts.
No situation reflected this more than the recent T20 series against England at Kensington Oval when Sammy made an unbeaten match-winning 30 off nine balls to seal the series in the second match.
In the final game, he almost took his side across the line in a thrilling finale, finishing not out on 15 off six balls.
With a significant section of the crowd chanting “Sammy, Sammy” during the closing minutes of the final game, the atmosphere at the Oval was highly charged and the moment was not lost on the West Indies captain.
“After the game I was telling coach Gibson, imagine a crowd in Barbados shouting Sammy. Yeah, it felt really good. It even pumped me up. I had no doubt that we would come across the line after hearing that, especially after going through so much,” Sammy said as he reflected on the T20 series and looked forward to defending the World T20 title.
“I felt like we were playing in St Lucia or Dominica. It shows that no matter what people say, you have your times where things will go right and you have your times where things will not go so right, and it’s about keeping on believing.
“Whenever I go out and play I have the fans at heart. That’s what drives me to go out and play for West Indies,” he added.
But Sammy has never allowed any perceived negativity to create additional pressure on him and has remained focused on his job.
“I just enjoy it. No matter what happens, once you go out there on the cricket field, cricket is my life, it’s my job. It’s what I have wanted to do from since I was a little boy. To wake up every morning knowing that you have the opportunity to go and do something you love, it becomes much more enjoyable,” said the West Indies T20 and Test captain.
But the durability of a man constantly targeted by fans and media, frustrated by the inconsistent performance of the regional side, has left many in awe of his ability to remain composed and embarrass the doubters.
“I give credit to the man that I am today to my parents, especially my mum. I am a Christian guy, a believer in God and everybody knows that. I remember growing up listening to sermons, I myself used to preach.”
According to Sammy, if good doctrines are instilled in children it will help them deal with the situations they face in adulthood. He also accepts that people will have and are entitled to their opinions.
“I always tell people that probably God made it like that so I could never get comfortable in this West Indies team where I let my guard down. Every game, I should play like it could be my last game.
“With man, nothing is possible but with the Almighty, everything is possible. So it’s about keeping that belief in God and in myself and backing my ability that no matter what people say, if I believe that I am good enough to be at that level, that’s all that matters,” Sammy said.

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