Sri Lanka v West Indies, Final, World Twenty20, Colombo

A triumph for Sammy

Many people have said he should not be in the team, let alone captain, but Darren Sammy was at centre of everything West Indies did in the World Twenty20 final

Jarrod Kimber in Colombo

October 7, 2012

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Darren Sammy soaks up the moment, Sri Lanka v West Indies, final, World Twenty20, Colombo, October 7, 2012
A nice guy doing a tough job: Darren Sammy has helped bring West Indies together © Getty Images
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People love to abuse, mock or belittle Darren Sammy. He is, after all, West Indies' non-playing captain.

Most people don't think he should be in the side, and even those who do don't think he should be leading it. He's a punchline or a punching bag. His medium pace is very gentle and his wild slogging is rarely effective. In his World Twenty20 winning side he is only more naturally talented than Johnson Charles, Denesh Ramdin and Samuel Badree.

Michael Holding, most cricket fans on twitter, and anywhere West Indies cricket gathers there are people that don't want Sammy as captain of the side. Most of those people don't want him in the side at all. He's not good enough, he brings nothing to the side, Chris Gayle could do a better job and he's taking the spot of someone better, is what they say. They say it a lot.

Sammy has heard all of this. He's just a nice guy. You could imagine him at a friend's party, being holed up in the corner by someone who is telling him he should step down because he isn't good enough. Every day he plays for West Indies, he simply does his best. Sometimes it is not good enough, but you can see how much he tries, see how much he wants it, and see that he is trying to build something for the islands and cricket team he loves.

Tonight this barely-talented, slow-bowling guy who isn't that good is the captain of the World Twenty20 champions.

His innings was as far from pretty. He barely kept out yorkers, hit crazily across the line, mistimed almost everything and bludgeoned a couple of boundaries in the last over. He heaved West Indies to a score that Sri Lanka could not challenge. This was a captain's innings.

Off the field, Sammy has strolled around his tournament with a grin, always happy to chat, always smiling and never looking like a man under pressure. He is known as the "the unofficial nicest man in cricket". Every press conference he has pushed unity of his many nations. He has done everything he can to keep his often-fractured team together. He is using this tournament to build something special. Something for the future. Something the people of the West Indies can be proud of.

"1st huddle conquered now on to the super 8 one people one team one goal wi bleed maroon..." from @DarrenSammy

With the ball, he came on at a time when Sri Lanka had thrust Angelo Mathews up the order. Mathews can score quickly, Mathews can get your run-rate back on track, Mathews is a big-game player, and Mathews is a closer. Sammy brought up his fine leg, knowing Mathews would be tempted. Sammy tried an offcutter and Mathews fell straight into his trap, missing the ball as it moved further away from him off the pitch. Mathews was no longer the match-winner. In his next over Sammy let one run through and collected the wicket of the last recognised batsman. This was clever and gutsy bowling from a leader.

Just having West Indies enter a tournament with a realistic chance of winning was a victory for Sammy. West Indies have not been travelling the world blazing all the teams they pass. They've played well at times against England, Australia, India and New Zealand. People have often talked up a West Indies renaissance before, but in the cold hard light of an international tournament it has fallen apart. To win this tournament you need luck, skill and timing.

"Booooom what a performance by team Windies. One team one people one goal one more hurdle. For the fans. Wi All In" from @DarrenSammy

In the field Sammy used his bowlers brilliantly. His use of Badree was different than normal, but perfect for the situation. He got through cheap overs from Gayle and Marlon Samuels to give himself flexibility. He used Sunil Narine as a strike weapon and someone who could be kept as a saver. And he had Sri Lanka batting the exact way he needed them to bat. Nothing ever got away from him and, even when Kulasakera was hitting out, he just brought back Narine to finish it all and not let his players get nervous. His captaincy was directly responsible for Sri Lanka's failure.

West Indies were lucky to even make the semi-finals. New Zealand should have beaten them in their regular innings, but Narine was just too good and sent them to the Super Over. Then in the Super Over someone made a huge mistake. It was the only time West Indies truly looked like a team who wasn't sure who their leader was. Samuels bowling the Super Over was just wrong, and was only undone by Samuels batting in the Super Over. A mistake like that, and the lack of cohesiveness out on the field while it happened, could have been enough for previous West Indies sides to lose their focus and play limply in the semi-final and fade away.

Instead they played their most perfect game and smashed Australia in every way.

Every single player on this team has a role. This is not a team of flashy show-offs who do solo missions. It is a talented team with a captain who trusts and manages his players the best way he can. In the final, they did not panic when they couldn't score, they simply waited for their time. They did not panic when they couldn't break through, they simply worked very hard. That is a team, and this team has a leader.

"Wi bleeding maroon for the fan..this is it ... One team One people One Goal..." From @Darrensammy

In the final of the World T20, Sammy ended with 2 for 6 off two overs, 26 off 15 balls and a trophy. It doesn't sound like non-playing.

Sammy is the man no one wanted as a player. Sammy is the man who no one wanted as a captain. And Sammy is the captain who has given his team their first major ICC trophy since 1979.

This is it for the fans wi bleed maroon wi came wi saw and wi conquered. One team one people and the goal was achieved" From @Darrensammy

Jarrod Kimber is 50% of the Two Chucks, and the mind responsible for cricketwithballs.com

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Posted by harshthakor on (October 9, 2012, 8:16 GMT)

Hail Sammy.His leadership was truly inspiring in motivating his team to this monumental effort.He consistent lifted the morale of his team and his batting effort at the end of the innings played a very crucial role.

Posted by vivek_Wall_Rock on (October 9, 2012, 7:39 GMT)

I am from India yet I am a huge fan of Sammy. There is no second thoughts about the powerplay of Chris Gayle or the perseverance of Marlon Samuels. But these were the players(especially Gayle) who left the "nation" in the street due to their personal conflicts with the board. At a time when there was a clear indication of cricket fading away in the island nation, when there were talks that the youngsters in WI started looking at cricket as less important, there was only this "so-called less talented" Darren Sammy to restore the faith and the legacy that the west Indian cricket is known for. I really wonder with the claims of him being "less talented and non-performer". People must understand that as long as Sammy became a captain, he was always foreseen as the next big star in WI cricekt purely because of his performances. When he accepted the burden(carrying wi team at that time was a burden not a resp) of leading the team,there were factors other than his perfo he had to focus on .

Posted by DaisonGarvasis on (October 9, 2012, 6:20 GMT)

WI came WI saw and WI conquered. And yes WI DESERVED.

Posted by   on (October 9, 2012, 6:19 GMT)

Good to see the underdog come out tops for a change. Well done West Indies and Sammy. Lord knows you deserve it.

Posted by   on (October 9, 2012, 5:17 GMT)

Sammy is the best fit for the job and its time to solute the selectors who entrusted him with the job of leading this Falling apart West Indian Team to glory!! Now to Sammy... - He is truly the nicest guy you will meet in the cricketing field. - He has brought the team together and its the best family you will see in any sporting field !!! - When it comes to statistics you don't talk about him but he is right up there with the rest whom we talk as stars! - He is a Man of God... It is his dedication and genuine love for God plus people, that brought about this great victory after 33 years!!!

All the best to the team I love the most and I wish them greater success!!! May God bless you guys!!!

Posted by   on (October 9, 2012, 5:16 GMT)

Glad to read the article and fr giving this man a well and highly deserved credit. I remember the time every match they played and ended up losing to other teams, yet the desire to win was always apparent on sammy. Well done!

Posted by Cricket_Lovely_Cricket on (October 9, 2012, 3:55 GMT)

Sammy being captain gets credit for the win. West Indies team, lacking confidence, with Sammy as captain was a losing team until Gayle got back in the team. It is Gayle that has generated the drive and intensity needed to produce this amazing winning team. Talk about inspiration, It was Gayle not Sammy that motivated this WI team to believe in themselves, just follow the leader. Where was Sammy's team prior to Gayle's return? Gayle's second coming is the turning point that will propel WI to new heights Sammy led us in the desert and Gayle is taking us home to the promised land. It is Gayle that drives fear in every bowler he faces, leaving them with sleepless nights, dreaming of how to get his wicket. It is the Gayle spectacle that the cricketing world love to watch in shock and awe. In years to come fans will remember and cherish the amazing onslaughts of the great Chris Gayle.. Even though Sammy is captain it is Gayle's team.

Posted by   on (October 9, 2012, 3:17 GMT)

To be frank Sammy is a great captain and what he has done is gel the team together. He is good in management. SRT is a better player than Ganguly but when you talk about captaincy he is far better. Great player won't be great captain or coach and the main reason is they want the people in their level. If you select the players with less ability they can brought up the team to higher level.

Posted by   on (October 9, 2012, 2:40 GMT)

Happy with his growth as the leader of the team, but that is the only role he will have in world cricket, one that the Windies people will happily accept. Well done Darren Sammy, and well done to all the players that were willing to gel under him...

Posted by dreaddyy on (October 9, 2012, 2:06 GMT)

Congrats to my West Indies team. I've previously heard mutterings against Sammy from time to time and could never understand the axe grinding. As far as I know (and I admit I haven't exactly been following cricket with a magnifying glass) when Sammy accepted the captaincy no one else had an eager hand up to take the job. He accepted it as bad as we were doing and has stuck to it. A lesser man would've abandoned the captaincy given the frustration and the criticism piled on. But he stuck with it, doing his best and not getting discouraged despite the best efforts of the nay sayers. GIVE THE MAN HIS DUE. I must congratulate the selectors in selecting the best players for this format of the game. I did notice there were six Trinidadians on this team with no Guyanese nor Bajans ( am I correct in this?) You choose the best players from the region regardless of where they're from. THEY'RE THE WEST INDIES. I hope this converts to the test format of the game.

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