It is that time of the season. The West Indies (WI) cricket team has undergone another transformation in its leadership. Darren Sammy has been appointed the captain of the WI ship which has been rocking in the high seas for what seems like an eternity and Brendan Nash as Sammy’s deputy. The latest go around for WI captaincy was set in motion by the controversy involving Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo, our former captain and vice-captain, respectively, and the global T20 sensation and man-mountain Kieron Pollard, having refused to sign the annual retainer contract offered to them by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), as they had their commitments and desire to participate in the foreign leagues. Their refusal to sign led to both Bravo and Gayle being axed from their positions. So the board saw it right to give these positions to players who seem to want to represent the Windies, this being Sammy and Nash.
I do know that Sammy has had leadership experience as captain of the Windward Islands but it truly came as a shock to me when I heard that he had been named as the West Indian captain. I do however respect Sammy as a player and for his contributions in recent times to the team in terms of bowling and his hard hitting which assisted in clinching some T20s for us. But the role of captain now comes with added responsibility. Sammy himself has had problems in making it to our strongest possible XI in recent times. He has a tough task ahead as indicated by former captain, Brian Lara because it isn’t easy as we all see, being the captain of the West Indies team in recent years. A dysfunctional, chaotic cricket board does not help the matters either. Heavy criticism and the players’ inability to perform will all eventually fall on the shoulders of the young captain no matter what.
I will give this team my support and rally as usual but I am definitely not pleased with the crazy selections our board makes repeatedly. Leaving out players like Ramnaresh Sarwan and Denesh Ramdin is a big no-no in my opinion. There are now a few players in the current squad touring Sri Lanka whom I have not seen perform well at the regional level, or not seen at all before.. I cannot understand Carlton Baugh’s selection as wicketkeeper because he hasn’t done anything in the regionals for quite some time. So all this is somewhat sad and crazy and year after year, we have this same issue regarding contracts which the players have deemed to contain some rather demanding clauses and also we have to deal with some outrageous shifts in the team structure.
All in all, I hope the boys can find their bearings in Sri Lanka. It will require a lot of skill, dedication and inspired leadership from Sammy. I honestly can say that I had never expected him to be in position of captain but I wish him the very best.
Article by Justine Daniel