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Cricketers on their milestones

Darren Sammy

'I didn't expect Waugh to ring me'

Compliments from Tugga and words of advice from Ambrose

Interview by Nagraj Gollapudi

May 27, 2012

Comments: 10 | Text size: A | A

West Indies captain Darren Sammy in training, Trent Bridge, May, 23, 2012
Stick your hand out. The ball may just come to you © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Darren Sammy
Series/Tournaments: West Indies tour of England
Teams: West Indies

First unexpected compliment
When I got the captaincy, Steve Waugh called me. He found my number from somewhere. He offered his advice and said he loved the idea and the concept I was trying to build for West Indies cricket. He wished me all the best. I did not expect Steve Waugh to ask people for my number and to ring me up.

First time I met a hero
In 2002 I went to Antigua for a fast bowling camp where I met Curtly Ambrose, my childhood hero as a fast bowler. I thought I was tall enough, but once I looked at him I did not know what to say. I was speechless. Later during the camp I asked him how he managed to pitch the ball in the same spot all the time - something I was trying to do. He said "Guess what? I didn't like anybody hitting for me runs. I just liked to keep the edges flowing. So once you keep the pressure, trust me, it works. Like when I got 7 for 1 in Australia."

First extraordinary thing that happened to me on the field
West Indies were playing Bangladesh in the 2004 Champions Trophy. I was standing at gully. Mervyn Dillon was bowling and the batsman flicked at a ball. I just stretched my hand out… and the ball stuck. Brilliant! I was so elated. It was a good catch, you know. I ended up taking two more catches in the same match.

First time I hit the winning runs
I was ten years old. It was during a neighbourhood match we kids played for icicles or soft drinks on Sundays. I hit the winning run, and immediately my mom and my dad came running down the ground and my team-mates lifted me. I was on top of the world.

First proper cricket match
I remember my first cricket match was for Comprehensive Secondary School. I got five wickets and scored a half-century. After that I never missed a single match for my school.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by vaidyar on (May 30, 2012, 12:30 GMT)

This team has spirit! Just needs a few match winners! Chanders is in the twilight of his career. But I like the sight of Kirk Edwards and Darren Bravo. Last year I watched my team (India) get walloped 4 times in a row. And the worst was that they managed 300 only once, thanks to Dravid (now retired!). The bowling was plain schoolboy pop-gun. At least these batsmen have scored 300+ more often and the bowling is also decent enough to not let England run away to 500+ scores and declare! They just need to get over the tendency to collapse every few innings.

Posted by   on (May 28, 2012, 17:47 GMT)

If the other WI players had half the commitment you have, Sammy, we'd be winners every time!

Posted by   on (May 28, 2012, 0:47 GMT)

i dont know what to think about windies cricket. these days i turn off the radio when they are batting as i am usually disappointed.i have been doing this since the days of jimmy adams when we were clobbered down in australia. i would say this though i think of the greats and wish somehow they could be resurrected in some of the players. the stand between samuels and sammy showed a spark of that brilliance but the sudden emergence of all the sour grapes players seems orchestrated. in addition there are the negative comments in the press and the onfield reporting. the english believe they are playing a second string team and windies looks set to fulfill the prophecy.if they continue to play like a doomed side they will get doomed results. they remind of the school student we note is "erratic."sometimes they would wake up before superannuation or they would face the inevitable. who is going to get these batsmen in shape. and the bowlers are we asking too much of these bowlers?

Posted by   on (May 27, 2012, 20:54 GMT)

Keep on doing what yuh doing Sammy. Asiba is backing you !

Posted by banter123 on (May 27, 2012, 13:57 GMT)

Read the last line. It gives an idea about his commitment. If the interview was of Gayle,the school stopped paying me,i never bothered to go to school.

Posted by KarachiKid on (May 27, 2012, 11:36 GMT)

This guy is very positive and seems pretty determined. He has to concentrate a bit more on his batting as WI need a reliable batsman at 6 or 7. He has shown he's got will power and intent but somehow he is not applying this to his batting. Maybe he himself underrates his batting and as a result does not focus as much as needed.

Posted by couchpundit on (May 27, 2012, 11:10 GMT)

Guess what sammy...Rest of the world wants just Mr.Waugh wished for...unfortunately your coack and board needs to use "talk soft and carry long stick" to reign in erring players. But disrespecting people like shiv,sarwan and Gayle(although i am sure gayle is partly mistaken too).

Anyways...no matter what people talk about your abilities...you are the bsest thing happened to WI cricket , allthe best.

Posted by qasimomar on (May 27, 2012, 7:29 GMT)

I always confident that Andrew Straus will run back to form because he is a very good left handed batsman in the game (former test cricketer QASIM OMAR

Posted by Maui3 on (May 27, 2012, 4:27 GMT)

oh, I just saw the title: five firsts, so only b5 questions asked. Would love to see a 20 firsts!

Posted by Maui3 on (May 27, 2012, 4:25 GMT)

Nagraj, I look forward to these interview. But, this one is just 5 questions. What happenend? the phone line got disconnected :-)?

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