The Beausejour Cricket Ground in St Lucia was renamed as the Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, following West Indies’ World Twenty20 title win in India.The announcement was made in St Lucia to honour their star local Darren Sammy. Sammy’s rise to stardom from humble background is nothing short of a a fairy-tale and its not surprising that he is the darling of St Lucia. In every restaurant, there is a Sammy memorabilia-a glove he had gifted, a ball or bat he has signed or a framed photograph of him with the owner or the staff.
And so West Indies Cricket Board’s (WICB) decision to sack Sammy as the T20 skipper has not gone down too well with the locals.
A couple of days ago Sammy surprised the whole cricket world when he publicly announced that he would not lead West Indies in T20 anymore. Sammy, who is known for his outspoken nature, did not mince words and said: “I am not really surprised because I know how these guys (WICB) operate; you know if you look at their history… when people speak the truth it’s always like that,” he told a local TV channel. “It is because of what I said at the end of the World Cup (2016 World T20 in India) – that’s it.”
When Sammy took charge of the team in 2010, it was in shambles and from that position he led West Indies to two World T20 triumphs. Talking to the Times of India, the locals expressed their frustration and anger towards the board’s decision.
Lucini, a middle aged woman, who runs a small eatery at the beach said: “No Sammy, no cricket.” She said that she had no interest in the India-West Indies Test match to be played at the island from Tuesday. And even if she had, with Sammy gone from the scene, she has lost interest in the game.
Another fan, proclaimed: “Sammy was the best captain West Indies ever had.”
“Sammy was made captain because someone spoke against the board. He was sacked for the same reason,” said another local.
The last few years have witnessed numerous problems between the boards and the players and it seems that the board has added one more issue to the ever growing list.