Darren Sammy

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West Indian cricketers flourish while administration languishes

While the Supreme Court continues to flay the BCCI and its associate members for dragging their feet on the Lodha Panel reforms, it has gone quiet on the Western front specifically the CARICOM coast.

It’s been a time of jubilation and turmoil for West Indian cricket.

The Calypso swingers under Darren Sammy uncorked an unprecedented second T20 World Cup win in astounding fashion with Carlos Brathwaite proving an unlikely hero. Their women’s team had the very same afternoon clinched their first ever World Cup in any form of the game.

Sammy , ever the team champion, utilized the occasion to roundly castigate the West Indian Cricket Board (WICB) for its step-motherly treatment of the players.

He said:

“We started this journey … we all know we had … people were wondering whether we would play this tournament. We had a lot of issues, we felt disrespected by our board, Mark Nicholas described our team as a team with no brains. All these things before the tournament just brought this team together.”

The WICB President David Cameron was quick to respond.

In a statement purportedly praising the World T20 organisers India and Bangladesh, Cameron said:

“The President would like to however apologise for what could be deemed inappropriate comments made by the West Indies’ male captain, Darren Sammy, in a post-match interview and would like to apologise on behalf of the WICB to the millions of fans who witnessed. The President has pledged to enquire the reason and will have the matter addressed.”

He had earlier tweeted:

The ICC would later join the WICB in reprimanding Darren Sammy and his teammates for their comments that were “”inappropriate, disrespectful and [bringing] the event into disrepute.”

The ICC press release read:

“The board considered the behaviour of some of the West Indies players in the immediate aftermath of the final, and unanimously agreed that certain comments and actions were inappropriate, disrespectful and brought the event into disrepute.

This was not acceptable conduct at ICC events played out on a world stage in front of millions of people around the globe.

The board acknowledged an apology by the WICB but was disappointed to note that such behaviour had detracted from the success of what was otherwise a magnificent tournament and final.”


Flag (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The gloss of the glorious treble of the U-19 World Cup, Women and Men’s T20 triumphs was wearing off quickly.

It wasn’t all rocky ground for West Indian cricket.

The newly minted BCCI and ICC head Shashank Manohar has been in an expansive mood notwithstanding the BCCI’s travails in the Supreme Court.

The Vidarbha lawyer first stated that he’s not in agreement with the ICC revenue-sharing formula wherein the Big Three—India, England and Australia—share the spoils and the leftovers distributed among the rest of the members.

Then the BCCI announced that bilateral ties between India and the West Indies would resume later this year. The cash-rich Indian body waived a $42 million damages claim against the abandoned 2014 tour. The West Indian cricketers flew home after the WIPA and WICB failed to resolve a long-standing pay dispute.

Late last year, the CARICOM cricket review panel suggested an immediate dissolution of the WICB. The panel was constituted by the Prime Ministerial Committee on the Governance of West Indies Cricket as a response to the crisis created by the damages slapped  on the WICB following the pull-out from the India tour.

The panel recommended formation of an interim board to install a fresh governance framework with the assistance of a change management expert.

The WICB rejected the report and its findings unilaterally claiming that none of the members of the board were consulted by the panel members.

Legends of the game were not so forgiving. Coming together under the banner Cricket Legends, Garry Sobers, Viv Richards, Wes Hall,  Andy Roberts and others met with Grenada premier Keith Mitchell, chairman of the Prime Ministerial Committee on the Governance of West Indies Cricket and sought the WICB’s termination.

That’s how the matter rests for now.

The following column will pore over specific recommendations from the panel and the WICB’s reasons for rejecting their proposals.

Carlos Brathwaite: What he said, really meant and definitely didn’t

Carlos Brathwaite is lost for words but not expletives.

What he said:

“”That was amazing man, I wish I could use some expletives on TV to really express how much of a top knock that was.”

West Indies’ final over hero in the T20 World Cup final, Carlos Brathwaite , is all praise for his senior partner Marlon Samuels who held the innings together with a stellar 85 off 66 balls.

Brathwaite said:

“It’s us against the world and someone needed to take responsibility. And today Marlon Samuels after a slow start took responsibility and played a fantastic knock. That was amazing man, I wish I could use some expletives on TV to really express how much of a top knock that was. He did it in 2010, and I knew if Samuels was there in the end, he’ll bring us home in 2016. It was a matter of when and not if.”

The 27-year-old backed his skipper Darren Sammy’s emotional outburst against the West Indian Cricket Board (WICB) saying:

“Most of the nations have more resources than we do, but we have natural talent. It has been said we don’t have brains, that we don’t harness our talent, that we do things off the field that contribute to poor on-field success. But I just want to say being around these guys, that everything we do on and off the field is for the betterment of West Indies, not just the team but also cricket and the region in general.”

On the final over against England’s Ben Stokes:

“It was a little nerve-wracking to be honest, I just tried to stay focused, use my cue words, watch the ball and take some pressure off Marlon. It would have been too hard to give him a single and expect him to do it all. I just had to bite the bullet and try to get a couple of boundaries, which fortunately I did, give God thanks for bringing it home for the people in West Indies.

After the third six I just backed myself, go hard, if it goes in the air I knew Marlon would finish it but I knew I had to be there as close to the end as possible. We continued to back ourselves, back our strength and our strength is hitting boundaries. Once we knew it was manageable we knew we could do it.

I just want say a special mention to everyone in Sargeant’s Village, my family, my friends and especially to Mr Errol Edey, the master bat-maker from the Caribbean.He made this special beauty for me to use in the World Cup and he told me, ‘Carlos, go out there and smash ’em’. Erroll, I did, and now we are world champions.”

What he really meant:

“I’m rendered speechless by the sense of occasion. Would expletives do instead?”

What he definitely didn’t:

“Hey, Virat, can you teach me a few of those choicest Punjabi and Hindi abuses, my maan?”

England verus West Indies: Let the fireworks flow

England take on the West Indies tonight in Kolkata in the sixth edition of the T20 World Cup.

Neither team is a stranger to the pressures of a final; both have emerged victors in the shortest format of the game.

Joe Root and Chris Gayle will be the cynosure of all eyes.

They are key players for their respective sides.

But finals have an uncanny knack of producing unlikely heroes.

The biggest stars have to perform to the greatest expectations.

Can they? Will they?

Some simply choke under the weight of expectations. Remember Ronaldo in the World Cup final in France in 1998 and his mysterious illness? It could well have been him and not Zinedine Zidane holding up the trophy. (Ronaldo did make amends in 2002. And it was Zidane who got the boot for his infamously provoked headbutt in 2006.Still not a Suarez.)

That’s not the point of this exercise.

It’s simply that cricket is a team sport and that it takes eleven players to get the side across the line.

The better side is simply the one that can keep it together more consistently and more often than other sides.

Those are the teams that make it through a tournament and emerge victorious.

Will it be Eoin Morgan’s England? Or will it be lovable Darren Sammy’s musketeers?

I really don’t know and I really don’t care.

For once, in this tournament I can be neutral and simply say, “Let the fireworks begin.”

Darren Sammy: What he said, really meant and definitely didn’t

Darren Sammy lights up the maroon torch.

Darren Sammy at the Prime Ministers 11 Cricket...

Darren Sammy at the Prime Ministers 11 Cricket match in Canberra 2010. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What he said:

“I’m seeing a lot of ads about Protea Fire. I guess Cape Town will be blazing, but with a maroon flame.”

The West Indians may have conceded the Test series to South Africa 2-0 but are in no mood to relinquish their exalted T20 specialists status. Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Darren Sammy and André Russell are back in the squad after plying their trade all over the world in Twenty-Twenty circuses.

The ‘Protea Fire’ referred to is a moving TV commercial #ProteaFire that promotes the unity despite diversity theme of the South African cricket side.

In effect #ProteaFire is the cricket team’s mission statement – their identity and culture, their ethos, mantra and belief in each other and the nation.”

SA Chief Executive, Haroon Lorgat, said:

“This is a truly unique and authentic campaign because it is exactly what the Proteas believe in. It comes directly from the team and it is no creative or marketing campaign.

No country has been through what SA has and our country needs all the inspiration it can get.

Clearly the Proteas are our inspiration. As a team they have invested time to understand what it means for them to represent South Africa and now the team wishes all South Africans to know more about who they are, whom they play for and what it means to be a Protea.

We respected their wishes and that’s why we got right behind them to ensure this campaign came to life.”

JP Duminy said:

“#ProteaFire is about humility, resilience, courage, adaptability, unity and respect; these are key attributes of our rich and diverse country. #ProteaFire isn’t just about what happens on the field, it’s also about how we carry ourselves during our daily tasks. We hope that we can inspire and help shape our country by our actions on and off the field.”

Hashim Amla added:

“Despite the reality of our diverse backgrounds, religious beliefs and social upbringings, our common understanding has created a common purpose in the team that is built on our passion to represent South Africa. The real task is to get people to behave in a new way of thinking, rather than to think themselves into a new way of behaving.”

Faf du Plessis, the Blue Label T20 captain, said:

“The Proteas have developed an amazing team culture and the joy of representing South Africa is the driving force in making us want to play for all South Africans.”

What Sammy really meant:

 “It’s time for the real thing—T20 fireworks and no one does it better than the boys in maroon. What say, IPL, BPL, SLPL, BBL fans? You agree, right?”

What he definitely didn’t:

“That #ProteaFire promo is no ‘Fire in Babylon’, is it?”

Darren Sammy: What he said, really meant and definitely didn’t

Darren Sammy is either in the playing XI or not.

What he said:

“First of all, I should get into the eleven.”

Darren Sammy, former West Indies skipper, is quite pragmatic about his selection for the ODI series against India.

He continues to be in the thick of things despite retiring from Test cricket following his sacking as skipper.

He said:

“I am enjoying my life, I am enjoying my cricket at the moment. I said when I retired that the team was moving in a new direction, they had no space for me. Cricket is not about me I have always said so. It is time for West Indies cricket to move on with a new captain Denesh (Ramdin) and I am happy.

No regrets, I am just happy to still be playing one-day and T20s for West Indies and that is what I am focusing on.”

On leading the West Indies:

“(Being) the captain of West Indies is tough. Captaining any side is tough but captaining West Indies we have players from different islands, different backgrounds, different culture…it has always been tough. For me, that side of things, I don’t miss it but I continue to be a leader in the team and play my role how I am supposed to play it.

Now we have three different captains. Tests and one-day that pressure goes to (Dwayne) Bravo and Ramdin. I just wait for when it is T20. But I try to be a leader in one-day and T20 cricket.”

What he really meant:

“Let’s not count my chickens before they’re hatched. First things first: Am I going to be in the playing eleven?”

What he definitely didn’t:

“Batting in the nets is good enough for me.”






Virender Sehwag: What he said, really meant and definitely did not

Virender Sehwag at Adelaide Oval

Virender Sehwag Advises Against Advising Tailenders

What he said (via Times Of India):

“Whatever you tell No. 10 or No. 11, they always do what they want to do.”

Virender Sehwag is one relieved skipper.

Batting minnows, Varun Aaron and Umesh Yadav, knocked off the required 11 runs to secure victory in the first ODI against West Indies at  Barabati Stadium, Cuttack.

Prior to the ODI series, the third Test match between the two sides ended in a thrilling draw with the scores tied. Then too, it was left to the tailenders to complete the job.

Sehwag said:

I was sitting in the same place and not moving! It’s good to win another nail-biter. Whatever you tell No. 10 or No. 11, they always do what they want to do. I just told them to play till the end and whatever happens is fine. Rohit and Jadeja batted really well in that partnership and we should have won it easily from there, but still good to end up winning. We hope to learn from our batting mistakes in the coming games.

Darren Sammy was the disappointed captain—again.

Sammy said:

Everytime you lose it is quite disappointing. We just didn’t have the last spark to take us past the finish line. The opening bowlers did well to give us a start and we fought all the way to the end, but it wasn’t enough. We could have done things differently, we even bowled 23 extras, but I would like to commend the boys. They fought with never-say-die spirit and it is going to stick.

What he really meant:

“When tailenders bat, they do what they want to and don’t want to, too.”

What he definitely didn’t:

“Isn’t cricket a game of glorious uncertainties? So what if I’m missing fingernails?”

Darren Sammy: What he said, really meant and definitely did not

Darren Sammy

What he said:

“I wanted to be a pastor. One of my favourite lines is, "The almighty never gives you more than you can bear." So I see it as: whatever comes my way I can face it.”

Darren Sammy can lead his West Indian flock with inspirational words and deeds.

What he really meant:

“I believe I can face quality pace bowling with a smile. After all, it is the West Indian way.”

What he definitely didn’t:

“Let’s perform only on Sundays.”

Darren Sammy: What he said, really meant and definitely did not


What he said:

“The best man who walked the face of the earth never did anything wrong, but he was still crucified. And I am nowhere close to that.”

It cannot be said that Darren Sammy is unaware of his tenuous position in the West Indian cricketing squad.

What he really meant:

“I’m skipper. Crucify me. It’s expected. It comes with the job.”

What he definitely didn’t:

“It’s not a paying post.”

Pakistan stroll into the semis: West Indies roll over and play dead

 Darren Sammy QFs

The West Indies throw out the Bangladeshi script to World Cup glory

Darren Sammy

The West Indians thrashed the Bangladeshis on Friday, the 4th of February, 2011, scuttling them for a paltry 58.

The Windies romped home for the loss of just one wicket. This was a crucial encounter for the Bengali side. It will be an uphill task for the co-hosts to make the quarter-finals now.

Kemar Roach picked up his second man-of-the-match award in this tournament for his three wickets for 19 runs off six overs.

I became a policeman because I wanted to be in a business where the customer is always wrong.


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