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Home News by RegionAnguilla News Is this the end for Darren Sammy?
Michael Maynard Sports Columnist

Michael Maynard – Sports Columnist

In more Caribbean news, as West Indies settle in at their base in Cardiff for the forthcoming ICC Champions Trophy much of the talk surrounds the future of Darren Sammy.

The man who has guided the Windies in all forms of the game over the last three years now finds himself following the lead of Dwayne Bravo for the biggest international tournament of the year.

Sammy’s demotion as ODI skipper, though retaining the leadership of the Test and Twenty/20 team, is seen by many as an unnecessary change to a team that has, under his stewardship, improved year on year.

However, others point out that West Indies’ results in the ODIs are the weakest link in their recent mini-revival. They are the current Twenty/20 world champions and have won their last six Test matches on the bounce – albeit against lowly opposition – but their 50-over form has seen only 11 victories in 25 attempts. But is this reason enough to tinker with a formula that seems to be on the right track?

Darren Sammy Caribbean Premier League

Darren Sammy. Photo courtesy voice-online.co.uk

Yes, a number of the international teams do have different captains for the various formats of the game. England at one stage had three different skippers for Test, ODI’s and Twenty/20, but the West Indies selectors have in the main stayed true to the one governor principle. So what has changed?

Certainly the number of games played may have a lot to do with it. Since 2010 Sammy has played in 25 Tests, 49 ODIs and 19 Twenty/20 matches and some believe that this is physically too much for one man to bear while remaining fresh mentally. But if as believed Sammy retains his place in the ODI starting line up he will still have to bat, bowl and field albeit without the pressures of directing the team so fatigue will still be a problem for the St Lucian.

Therefore one can surmise that Sammy will be ‘rested’ for the ODIs in the future as he was for the ODI Series against Zimbabwe last February, leaving Bravo a free reign.

But this poses another question. If Bravo makes a success of the ODI captaincy will Sammy’s position at the helm of the Five Day game be in jeopardy? Bravo has been linked to the West indies Test captaincy since Chris Gayle was dethroned in 2010. However, the Trinidadian’s refusal to sign a WICB retainer contract in favour of touting his talent around the world as a T20 cricketer of fortune left Sammy in pole position.

Dwayne Bravo Caribbean Premier League

Dwayne Bravo. Photo courtesy thecricketgames.blogspot.com

I have never been an advocate of playing both Sammy and Bravo in the same Test side as having two genuine all-rounders tends to unbalance the team. Fortunately, over the last three years the West Indies selectors have not had to make a choice between them as Bravo, either because of injury or other commitments, hasn’t turned out for a West Indies Test side since 2010. But a fit and available Bravo, who is a winning captain at ODI level, must pose a great threat not only to Sammy’s captaincy but his place in the starting Test eleven.

Dissenters around the Caribbean may greet the possible demise of Sammy with relish as they have never been convinced of his ability to command a place in a West Indies team in any format. But that would be unfair as he took over at a difficult time for West Indies cricket both on and off the field and has moulded them into a unit capable of, on their day, challenging the best in all forms of the game. They haven’t yet attained the consistency to regain their pre-eminence in world cricket but under Sammy they’ve gone a long way to bringing dignity and respect back to the Caribbean game.

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