Darren Julius Garvey Sammy has been dropped by the West Indies Cricket Board as captain of the regional team, of which he first took the reigns in 2010. The 32-year-old all-rounder from Dugard has been one of the most successful leaders of the West Indies cricket team in all three formats of the game. He was previously relieved of duty as captain of the Test and one-day international teams over the past two years, but in 2012 and 2016, he led the Caribbean outfit to glory in the International Cricket Council World Twenty20 Championships, the only captain to lift that trophy twice.
Darren made the announcement on Friday morning via a lengthy Facebook post.
He started out by thanking the fans and players who have been part of the Saint Lucia Zouks journey in the 2016 Hero Caribbean Premier League, the first time the Zouks have made it into the top four teams. In typical magnanimous fashion, he wished the teams remaining in the competition all the best. But Darren quickly got down to the meat of the matter.
“This post here is for you the fans,” he said. “Six years ago I was asked to captain West Indies, a task which I thought would be the biggest challenge in my career, in my life, a task which I knew would be so difficult.
“But, guess what, I took it head on. I embraced the challenge. I embraced the difficulty. I turned up at the office, which is my playground, the cricket field, every day, and I put in the work.
“It started with [former West Indies head coach] Ottis Gibson, I want to thank you, buddy, for believing in me. And now it has ended up with Phil [Simmons, present head coach].
“So to my players all over the years who have been part of the team and who have played under my captaincy, I want to thank you for all the support.
“We have had our ups and downs, but I have never given up hope, I have never stopped believing in myself and in the team. That was what I was about as a captain, trying to instill a positive, never-say-die attitude in my team, and the result, we’ve won two World Cups.”
Darren explained that he got a phone call lasting no longer than 30 seconds on Thursday from recently installed convener of selectors, Courtney Browne, advising him that not only would he not be leading the Caribbean team for two upcoming T20 internationals against India in Florida, but that his performance did not merit his (Darren’s) selection in the team. Darren is the only player in the top 10 West Indians in both run scoring and wicket taking in this year’s edition of the Hero Caribbean Premier League.
But the now former captain, the first and only Saint Lucian ever to play Test cricket for West Indies, and the first from his island ever to play for the regional team in any format of the game, remained generous and big-hearted as ever. “I’ve always believed West Indies cricket is not about Darren Sammy. I want to wish the new captain all the best as he looks to lead West Indies cricket and take it forward.”
He concluded by stating that he would be able to dedicate more time to the Darren Sammy Foundation, which is intended to help develop young emerging athletes, and noting that he has always played with a smile, which will continue to be the way he approaches life.
Said Darren: “That smile nobody can take it away from me. My mama gave me that smile!”