West Indies tour of Sri Lanka October 17, 2010

Darren Sammy named West Indies captain

ESPNcricinfo staff

Chris Gayle has been axed as the West Indies captain and replaced by the allrounder Darren Sammy in a shake-up that has also resulted in Brendan Nash being handed the vice-captaincy. However, Gayle has kept his spot in the squad for the three-Test tour of Sri Lanka in November, despite turning down a central contract with the WICB last month.

The board has also demoted Dwayne Bravo, who was the vice-captain under Gayle but like his captain did not agree to a new WICB deal. The pair, along with Kieron Pollard, have forged lucrative Twenty20 careers in domestic tournaments including the IPL and refused central contracts which stipulated that they must make themselves available for the West Indies team at all times.

That has paved the way for the Windward Islands captain, Sammy, to take over the leadership, despite not being a regular member of the Test side. He and the Australian-born Nash will be in charge of the Test squad until the end of the 2011 home series, ending Gayle's three-year period at the helm of the team.

Gayle led West Indies to three wins in 20 Tests as captain, and they sit seventh on the ICC Test rankings list and eighth in the ODI rankings. Sammy said he was looking forward to the challenge of leading the side, even though in Sri Lanka the squad will be missing several experienced men, including the now uncontracted Denesh Ramdin, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Jerome Taylor.

"Being appointed West Indies captain is an honour and distinction which I will treat with the highest regard and dignity," Sammy said. "I believe my captaincy of the Windward Islands, a young team which I have been moulding into playing consistently competitive cricket, will stand me in good stead as West Indies captain as we work on building a team for the future.

"I have always given my all when I prepare and play for the West Indies and nothing will change now. I know this will be a difficult challenge and I will take the torch from Chris and hold it high as we forge ahead. I have been playing for the West Indies since 2004 and over those six years I have built strong relationships with many players and I expect to have the full support of the squad."

The decision to appoint Sammy and Nash into positions of responsibility is indicative of the WICB's desire to achieve stability in leadership from players whose availability isn't in question. Ernest Hilaire, the board's CEO, said: "Chris Gayle, the former captain, led the West Indies during a challenging period and the board thanks him for stepping up then but it is now time to past the mantle on as the West Indies rebuilds."

The squad picked for the Sri Lanka series features several players who didn't play against South Africa at home earlier in the year, West Indies' most recent Test assignment. Adrian Barath, the opener who burst onto the international scene with a century on debut against Australia in Brisbane last year, returns after hurting his knee in April.

Carlton Baugh, who has not played a Test since 2004, will vie with Devon Thomas for the role behind the stumps, while there was also a maiden call-up for the Jamaica allrounder Andre Russell. The opener Devon Smith, who played his most recent Test in May 2009, is also back after averaging 61.50 while leading West Indies A in the first-class fixtures in England this year.

West Indies squad: Darren Sammy (capt), Brendan Nash (vice-captain), Chris Gayle, Adrian Barath, Carlton Baugh (wk), Sulieman Benn, Darren Bravo, Dwayne Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Nelon Pascal, Kemar Roach, Andre Russell, Shane Shillingford, Devon Smith, Devon Thomas (wk).

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Alexei on October 24, 2010, 22:34 GMT

    WI_analyst what are u talking about?? Gayle is a great player of spin.. Ive seen him hit big scores against the likes of Dan Vettori, Swann, P.Harris, Warne, macgill and hauritz and even Murali! when he was last here..the only bowling i kno Chris cant play to is Chaminda Vaas who is retired now anyway...but on the selection of this squad.. Baugh should have been called up a long time ago, even if it was to be alongside ramdin in a squad..because baugh deserves it, he has a much superior avg to ramdin and even hit an unbeaten century against the austrailians when they were here..Andre russell is a good prospect, so too Darren Bravo, Smith has been granted another chance as he and the forementioned two were on the sub-continent earlier this yr and performed..WI will miss Sarwan's spin playing miserably though..on the captaincy issue, they dont hav much of a choice on who to turn to as Sammy's committment is unmatched..wee will just have to wait and see how he goes..

  • Anwar on October 24, 2010, 6:04 GMT

    sammy is a decent cricketer, but his position as captain will provide problems for the final 11. will we how play two allrounders, sammy and Bravo, or only one fast bowler, remember our batting is very weak, young bravo most likely at 3, nash in the middle, sri lanka will have a field day bowling at us, as will their batsmen. it's looking like another disastourus tour for the West Indies.

  • Sean on October 22, 2010, 16:18 GMT

    What on earth is cooliechile talking about? There have been 16-17 presidents of the WICB(C) since it was founded in the 1920s and out of them only two have ever been president while the WI captain was from the same territory for half or more of their term: Pat Rousseau and Ken Gordon. Even then it was about 50-50 in their cases as with Pat Rousseau there were two captains from his territory and two captains who were not from his territory and it was the same with Ken Gordon where Lara and Chanderpaul were captains during his tenure. With Hunte who is from the Windwards it has been Gayle from Jamaica who has served as captain for the majority of his term to date. For the rest of the past presidents, there were only captains from the same territory as them for a minority of the matches (sometimes just 1 match) and there were 7 who served their terms without a captain ever once coming from their territory: Yearwood, St. Felix Dare, Marley, Rae, Cpt. Peter Short, Wes Hall & Teddy Griffith.

  • devon on October 21, 2010, 10:44 GMT

    SVG you too are clearly also a small islander, with a small islander mentality. And if you look at the recent history of West Indies cricket, you would see that in most cases, the president and captain usually comes from the same territory. That's just the way it is. And the reason why St Lucia and Dominica are referred to as smaller islands is because they are very very undeveloped places, and so to is St Vincent. So while all the islands may be small, the winward and leeward islands have the small minded mentality that will get you guys nowhere. And its not getting West Indies cricket anywhere either. And i am not from Guyana

  • Dummy4 on October 21, 2010, 5:19 GMT

    Are we back to the olden days of insularity and "origin" Chanderpaul, in. That's good. Guess you wanted to drop hi also, but you NEED him. But there is no Sarwan, no Deonarine, no Ramdin (gues he screwed up)I am glad Barathn is in. Are the selectors using players' ability to select team or " other" factors....

  • Jefferson on October 21, 2010, 0:30 GMT

    To cooliechile If you not from Guyana don't even talk about small island because all the other Island of the Caribbean is small. You are just making your self an International ass. Cuba 43,00 sq miles and about eleven million people is constantly refer as the small Island of Cuba by BBC. When Jamaica made the World Cup final they were refer to as the tiny island of Jamaica. If you are from Guyana there are more Guyanise living in the small Islands than in Guyana. Thousand of Jamaican lives in these same small Island also so stop the small island nonsense. Two small islands produce some of the greatest cricketers the world have ever seen. Barbados and Antigua are those two Islands. Some thing I never understand is St Lucia and Dominica is bigger than Barbados but Barbados is call big island.

  • sajjo on October 20, 2010, 22:34 GMT

    i am a die hard west indian. but i officially give up on windies cricket. its just one bad selection after another. this squad will prob not even win a match in sri lanka. im happy for sammy and that russell got a pick. but if baugh and devon smith are back because of good form, then imran khan, devendra bishoo, and santokie also should have been selected because for the last season they have been the best bowlers in domestic cricket. and i still think sarwan should have played

  • Ramachandran on October 20, 2010, 22:29 GMT

    He will be a great captain, as quoted by CRICINFO in his profile - "Darren Julius Garvey Sammy has names invoking images of great leadership" :)

  • devon on October 20, 2010, 11:48 GMT

    Metman, clearly you are a small islander. Sammy would have never been the captain if the president of the WICB was not a small islander also. Haven't you noticed that all of a sudden a lot of West Indies cricketers are from the small islands. Metman, how many titles have the Winward and Leeward islands won in the West Indies in recent times???

  • Dummy4 on October 20, 2010, 1:33 GMT

    Chris Gayle has to be one of the smartest cricketer playing the game.Refused to sign the contract, automatically relinquish the captaincy so when those hurry come up so call cricketers fail to perform they won't be able to blame him.I like D Sammy but Boy you have a Job ahead you..My question,have the selectors for get to pick some Bowlers for this tour of S L? I reallywish them luck..I'm loking forward to a pleasant surpraise..............

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