Darren Sammy announced on Friday (August 5) that he had been sacked as the captain of the West Indies Twenty20 International team by the West Indies Cricket Board.
Sammy, the only captain to lift the World T20 titles twice with victories in 2012 and 2016, said he had also been told that he would be dropped from the T20I squad. This means he will not be part of the team that faces India in a two-match T20I series in late August in Florida, the first T20I matches West Indies will play after lifting the World T20 in April.
While there has been no official announcement from the WICB, Sammy gave out the news of his sacking on his official Facebook page via a video message.
“I got a call yesterday morning, it was probably 30 seconds, from the chairman of selectors telling me that they’ve reviewed the captaincy of T20 and I won’t be captain anymore of the T20 team, nor do my performances merit selection in the squad,” said Sammy.
“That’s okay, I’ve always believed West Indies cricket is not about Darren Sammy. They are looking to the future and I want to wish the new captain – I don’t know if it’s out yet so I won’t name any names – all the best as he looks to lead West Indies cricket and take it forward.”
Speaking with a mixture of hurt and pride in a six minute long video, Sammy recalled how he was handed the reigns in 2010, and he “took it head on and embraced the challenges”.
“I started out with Ottis Gibson (who was the coach of the team), I thank you buddy, for believing in me. To all the players who have played under my captaincy, I want to thank you for all the support. We’ve had our ups and downs. But I’ve never given up hope, never stopped believing in myself and in the team. That is what I was about as a captain. Trying to instill a never-say-die attitude in my players. The result is that we won two World Cups.”
Sammy, who led West Indies in 47 T20Is in the past five years, with 27 wins, most recently featured in the Caribbean Premier League 2016, where his team St Lucia Zouks, lost the second playoff to Trinbago Knight Riders on Thursday.
“This is not me retiring from one-days or T20s, this is just me thanking the fans and the players who I have worked with,” he said. “The direction Darren is headed is not dictated by any man. I just knew that I played with my heart and soul whenever I stepped out on the cricket field. And nobody can take my smile away.”
After winning the World T20 in April, Sammy had said in the post-match speech that the side felt “disrespected by the board”, and there were some reports that those comments could have played a part in his sacking.
Dave Cameron, the WICB president, later censured the post-World T20 comments as “inappropriate” but said he would try to a “find common ground in ensuring that the best players in the region are available for selection for West Indies teams”.
More recently, Sammy, Dwayne Bravo and Chris Gayle, who didn’t make the cut for the West Indies squad for the tri-nation One-Day International series in June that included Australia and South Africa, took to social media to question the WICB’s selection criteria.