Darren Sammy May 27, 2012

'I didn't expect Waugh to ring me'

Compliments from Tugga and words of advice from Ambrose

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