December 10, 2023

‘I had no choice but to quit test cricket’ says axed Windies captain

darren_sammy_617829929From Caribbean360

Monday May 12, 2014, CMC – Darren Sammy says his decision to quit Test cricket came after he realised he was no longer part of the future plans of the West Indies team, in the game’s longer version.

The Windward Islands all-rounder, who was axed as captain last Friday after nearly four years in charge, said he “had no choice” but to retire after speaking to West Indies selectors and hearing the opinions of the team and its management.

“It was something I thought about after I discussed with the selectors. After listening to the management and teams’ views about the way they needed to move to the next level in Test cricket, I understood that my role wasn’t needed as captain or player. This was the way forward,” Sammy said here.

“Now West Indies cricket is at a new dispensation. It has a new force and direction and I am no longer required to play a role in Tests. I had no choice but to retire from Test cricket.”

Sammy sent shockwaves through the Caribbean when he announced his retirement from Tests late last Friday. The decision came just hours after the West Indies Cricket Board axed him as captain in favour of wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin.

He remains Twenty20 captain and available for selection to the one-day team.

The 30-year-old, who is currently involved in his second season in the Indian Premier League where he turns out for Sunrisers Hyderabad, dismissed suggestions his involvement in the lucrative Twenty20 tournament had influenced his retirement.

“I am having a great time in IPL. But my decision was not based on IPL or things like this,” Sammy stressed.

“It was solely on the direction the Test team was heading and there were no plans for me as a captain and as a player.”

Sammy was appointed West Indies captain in November, 2010 following Chris Gayle’s tenure, and has been credited with returning stability and discipline to the side.

However, his personal record – he averages 21 with the bat and 35 with the ball – came under constant scrutiny along with West Indies’ continuing struggles in Test cricket. Heavy losses to India in New Zealand on away tours last year increased the pressure on Sammy.

His axing as Test captain comes a year after he was also relieved of his duties as one-day captain, with experienced all-rounder Dwayne Bravo taking over at the helm.

Sammy said it was important to deal with change when it occurred.

“It is not about right or wrong. I was captain at point of stage of all formats. I was asked to captain at a time when the team needed stability. Change is inevitable,” he pointed out.

“Sometimes we might not like it. Sometimes we may not agree with but we have to accept it.”

Sammy led West Indies in 30 of his 38 Tests, finishing with eight wins, 12 defeats and 10 draws.

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New Windies test skipper expects challenges but says he’s ready

RamdinPORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, Monday May 12, 2014, CMC – New West Indies skipper Denesh Ramdin is anticipating a myriad of challenges when he takes over the helm of the regional side, but says he is ready for the learning curve the role will present.

The 29-year-old wicketkeeper was on Friday named by the West Indies Cricket Board to lead the Test team, replacing Windward Islands all-rounder Darren Sammy who held the position since November, 2010.

Ramdin said despite his experience of captaining Trinidad and Tobago, the Windies role would require a greater skills set.

“With Trinidad and Tobago it’s been good. I’m just taking it to another level now. I think the concentration level and the tactical level will be higher and I’ll be making stronger decisions in terms of Test matches,” Ramdin said.

“To get guys out at that level is a lot more challenging, and having the bowlers to bowl at particular batsmen and getting them to work towards a plan which I would like our bowlers to do, [will also be challenging].”

Ramdin has already led West Indies in a One-Day International and three Twenty20s, but has never captained in a Test. However, he said he would be seeking advice regularly from the senior members of the side.

“It’s going to be fun. I’m sure some of the senior players who will be around will help me as well. I will go to them for advice, I’m not going to do it on my own,” Ramdin stressed.

“That’s why we have all those players like Shiv (Chanderpaul), Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels, all those players I will be looking to get advice from.”

Often criticised for his inconsistent batting, Ramdin has caught the eye recently with an enterprising run of form. He scored two of his four Test centuries in 2012 and hit another last year along with three half-centuries.

In fact, he has averaged 44 over the last two years which has seen his overall Test average rise to 27.25.

With the added role of captaincy, Ramdin said he was aware adjustments would have to be made to his game.

“The experience that I have I would like to use that but there are some circumstances where I will have to change certain things in terms of my batting, and adapt to situations and bat with the lower order,” explained Ramdin, who has played 56 Tests.

“There may be occasions where I need to work out the bowling and try to get quick runs for the team and put our ourselves in a better position.

“But it is going to be challenging. Wicketkeeping 90 overs or a day-and-a-half and then going out to bat the following day is going to be tough on me but I guess that’s what brings out the best in me .”

He added: “It’s a very tough challenge to represent the West Indies team as the captain and there are going to be a lot of ups and downs and a big challenge for me but a learning curve as well.”

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Way clear for Bravo’s return, says Davis

Dwayne BravoFrom Jamaica Observer

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) – Darren Sammy’s removal as captain and subsequent retirement from Test cricket will pave the way for all-rounder Dwayne Bravo’s return to the squad, says former West Indies opener Bryan Davis.

Sammy, who led the Test squad for nearly four years, was axed on Friday in favour of wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin. The St Lucian all-rounder announced he was quitting the longer format later in the day.

“I think Dwayne has been unfairly left out for the last four years. He was injured and Sammy then took the decision that he would be the fast bowling all-rounder,” the Trinidad Guardian quoted Davis as saying.

“With the selectors not wanting to play two fast bowling all-rounders, Bravo had to stay out.

“Bravo’s record speaks for itself, he belongs on the West Indies team, he has shown that he can bat with three Test centuries and his bowling is penetrative, as he is now closing in on 100 wickets,” added Davis, who played four Tests against Australia in 1965.

Sammy led West Indies in 30 of his 38 Tests, winning eight matches and losing 12, with eight finishing drawn. He made 1,323 runs at 21.68, with a single Test century against England at Trent Bridge in 2012, and grabbed 84 wickets at 35 apiece.

Bravo, meanwhile, who replaced Sammy as one-day captain last May, has scored 2,200 runs from 40 Tests at an average of 31 with three centuries. He has taken 86 wickets at an average of nearly 40.

And while Bravo has not played a Test in three-and-a-half years, Davis believes this is where the strength of his game remains.

“He has been playing a lot of T20 cricket but I think that he is actually a better Test bowler,” Davis contended.

“He is not his best when bowling defensively. With his ability to move the ball, I think he can be very penetrative in Test matches.”

PHOTO: Dwayne Bravo

For more on this story go to:–says-Davis


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