Darren Sammy wants to transform the West Indian Cricket
West Indies’ newly-appointed white-ball coach, Daren Sammy, is determined to bring back some key players and improve the team’s rankings in ODIs and T20Is. Sammy has engaged in “in-depth conversations” with Shimron Hetmyer, Evin Lewis, Andre Russell, and Sunil Narine about their potential reintegration into the national side.
Unfortunately, Hetmyer was left out of the squad for the upcoming 2023 ODI World Cup Qualifiers in Zimbabwe, despite making himself available for selection. The management wanted to provide an extended opportunity to players who had performed well in the recent series against South Africa, where West Indies drew the ODI series 1-1 and won the T20I series 2-1. Lewis, on the other hand, has made himself unavailable for West Indies selection until after the CPL 2023. Russell has not played for West Indies since the 2021 T20 World Cup in the UAE, and Narine’s last appearance for the national team was back in August 2019.
Sammy, in his first press conference as the white-ball coach, emphasized the importance of clear communication with the players. He believes that open dialogue can enhance the reintegration process and provide a better understanding between the players and the management. Sammy expressed his optimism about the discussions he has had with Hetmyer, Lewis, Russell, and Narine, stating that the feedback has been positive. He also highlighted the need for honest and mature conversations to pave the way for the players’ return.
Having previously coached in T20 leagues, including the St Lucia Zouks and Peshawar Zalmi franchises, Sammy is now embarking on his first coaching role in international cricket. He intends to draw from his experiences working with former West Indies coaches Phil Simmons and Ottis Gibson. Under their leadership, West Indies won their first T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka in 2012 and another in India in 2016. Sammy also shares a good working relationship with current West Indies red-ball coach Andre Coley, who was an assistant to Simmons during the successful 2012 campaign.
Sammy acknowledged that the journey towards becoming an elite team would not be easy, but he remains enthusiastic about the task at hand. He identified specific areas of improvement based on the team’s recent performances, such as inconsistent results and struggles against spin bowling. Sammy believes that by focusing on these small aspects and setting achievable goals, West Indies can make significant progress and climb up the ICC rankings. Currently ranked tenth in ODIs and seventh in T20Is, Sammy aims to finish in the top eight in both formats by the end of the year.
The immediate challenge for Sammy and the team is the upcoming three-match ODI series against the UAE in Sharjah, which will serve as preparation for the World Cup Qualifiers in Zimbabwe in June and July. While Sammy acknowledges the team’s current rankings, he sees potential for improvement and is excited about the possibilities. By addressing weaknesses and embracing a new mindset, Sammy hopes to inspire the next generation of cricketers and bring joy to West Indies fans.
In conclusion, Daren Sammy’s appointment as the white-ball coach of the West Indies cricket team brings a renewed sense of optimism and determination. With his coaching experience in T20 leagues and the valuable insights gained from working with former West Indies coaches, Sammy is well-equipped to guide the team towards success. His focus on clear communication and reintegration of key players like Hetmyer, Lewis, Russell, and Narine underscores his commitment to building a cohesive and competitive squad.
Sammy’s ambitious goals of improving the team’s rankings and inspiring the next generation of cricketers demonstrate his unwavering belief in the potential of West Indies cricket. As the team prepares for upcoming series and qualifiers, the cricketing world eagerly awaits the transformation that Sammy’s coaching can bring to the West Indies team, hoping to witness their resurgence as a force to be reckoned with on the international stage.