West Indies news May 9, 2014

Darren Sammy retires from Test cricket

ESPNcricinfo staff

Darren Sammy has announced his retirement from Test cricket after losing the captaincy.

His decision on Friday evening came just hours after the WICB announced that wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin was replacing Sammy as captain of the Test side for the upcoming three-Test series against New Zealand beginning on June 8 in Jamaica. Sammy will remain T20 captain for the West Indies and has informed the board that he will continue to make himself available for selection in ODIs.

Sammy was the first player from St Lucia to represent the West Indies Test side, making his debut as a 23-year-old in 2007 against England at Old Trafford. He took 7 for 66 in the second innings of a 60-run loss to the home side, the best bowling figures at Old Trafford since Malcolm Marshall claimed 7 for 22 in 1988. They were also the best for any West Indian on debut since Alf Valentine claimed 8 for 102 against England at the same venue in 1950 and would remain Sammy's best haul over his 38 Tests.

After having played only eight Tests, he was made captain of the Test side taking over from Chris Gayle in October 2010 after Gayle turned down a WICB central contract. It was a curious move at the time since Sammy was not an automatic selection due to his modest record with both bat and ball, claiming 27 wickets at 27.74 while maintaining a batting average of 19.40 with high score of 48 in 15 innings.

Sammy fought off plenty of criticism throughout his reign during which West Indies won eight, lost 12 and drew 10 of the Tests he captained. During a seven-month stretch beginning in November 2011, West Indies lost three consecutive three-match series - in India, at home to Australia and then away again in England - all by a final margin of 2-0.

The WICB continued to show faith in Sammy's leadership though and they were rewarded when he led them to six straight Test victories - two each at home against New Zealand, away in Bangladesh and back home against Zimbabwe - before a poor showing by the West Indies in India during Sachin Tendulkar's farewell series last November provided more fodder for Sammy's detractors. His final series in charge was in New Zealand last December where Darren Bravo's double-century saved the first Test in Dunedin before West Indies lost heavily in the final two matches of the series.

He leaves Test cricket at a time when his Twenty20 career is near its peak. After leading West Indies to the World T20 title in 2012, he led them to the semifinals in 2014 on the back of some impressive finishing displays, none more than against Australia when he scored 34 not out off 13 balls in a final-over six-wicket win.

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  • Dummy4 on May 12, 2014, 1:23 GMT

    Sammy deserve some recognition for what he has achieve as captain of windies test team. He accepted the position as captain at a very difficult time when the able and capable players were busy else where working for big money also amid controversies he had to contend with second class players then who would not have been considered for selection had the big buns been present, poor chap he did his best his overall result was better than most captains before him. The captains of my time that did better than him were Sir Frank Worrell, Sir Garry Sobers, Clive, Sir Vivian Richards and Courtney Walsh. when the big guns came back they batted with gay abundance. Every time Sammy goes to bat he was always under pressure. The critics were on his back for not scoring enough runs, but they never were they on the backs of the big guns for their consistence failures. Sammy could not have go out to the crease and bat for them, nor could he have bowled from both end. thank you Sammy for everything

  • Harvey on May 12, 2014, 1:02 GMT

    This is a huge loss for the West Indies, he at least had another 5 years in him.

  • Dummy4 on May 12, 2014, 0:58 GMT

    Sammy was used!! Now he ain't need again. SAD.

  • Dummy4 on May 11, 2014, 23:24 GMT

    Thanks Sammy for your yeomen service to the WI cricket. Yes he is not the best but not the worst! He will be a better Captain than Ramdin and Bravo. We salute you, Darren.

  • Dummy4 on May 11, 2014, 17:42 GMT

    Sammy was a decent test player and a good captain...We forget that the rest of the team failed as well..When WI cricket was in the dustbin when top players were away, Sammy helped the team to bounce back. In any case, he is a terrific T20 and ODI player...This will free him up...He should continue to hone his first class skills...In the future he might rejoin the test team. Sammy should ply his T20 skills in all the leagues around the world.

  • Non Bias on May 11, 2014, 15:10 GMT

    well said kentjones. Sammy hold your head high, i guess it was just a business decision. So sad that it has become a business and not a patriotic movement. He was not the best but definitely not the worst. We will miss Sammy in Test Cricket!

  • Roy on May 11, 2014, 15:06 GMT

    Look lets face it Sammy's retirement is more of a benefit than a loss to WI.test cricket, the writing on the wall was in BIG BOLD LETTERS for Sammy to see, so at the end he did the right thing. Moving forward WI.test cricket will be in a better position. Congrats Ramdin and LETS PLAY BALL!!!.

  • Worrell on May 11, 2014, 13:07 GMT

    Sammy did what he was asked to do. He did his best. Thanks Sammy.

  • Dummy4 on May 11, 2014, 12:36 GMT

    I love Sammy. My favourite WI player, as he has a great heart and gave his all. Hopefully he can keep going well in limited overs cricket.

  • Android on May 11, 2014, 12:34 GMT

    @sanjoy How many of thr South African and Australians in the IPL who also do not represent their country do you want to omit. Most if the WI players in the ipl arrived on the strength of their performances in the champions league. On your premise Narine would never get a chance and the likes od Dwayne Smith. Its their ipl opportunities/performances which put them in focus for national selection. PROFESSIONALS realise they must prove their worth. The teo player named have more than repaid their franchises this season so why would a commercial venture need such embargos which you are proposing?

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