I picked Darren Sammy for his passion and enthusiasm, says Brian Lara

Image courtesy of: The Times

Lara remembers how Sammy believed he would never end up leading the West Indies

West Indies batting legend Brian Lara has revealed that he picked current captain Darren Sammy way back in 2004 during an ODI series against England for his passion and enthusiasm rather than his cricketing skill.

Lara noted that Sammy was one of the last two players he included in the 14-man squad and ignored requests to pick two other players since he believed they were undisciplined.

“I remember picking Darren Sammy; not for his cricketing ability, but for the way he carried about himself,” Lara said. “We were going to play in a tournament in England and we had 14 players to pick and after 12 the two players they were asking for I didn’t want on the team, because they weren’t going to play, but I knew they were going to be very destructive.”

The former West Indian skipper added that Sammy would never have considered himself capable of taking over the reigns and leading his country back then, but pointed out that he had selected the all-rounder due to his reputation of being someone who could be relied upon.

“And I remember picking Darren Sammy and a guy called Sylvester Joseph,” Lara added. “Darren Sammy at no point in time would have considered himself to be a future leader of West Indies cricket. He was someone who you could depend on.”

Sammy is currently captaining the West Indies at a critical juncture, whereby they are the team to beat in Twenty20 cricket after surprising everyone by emerging as victors of the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka last September.

With Sammy having provided the West Indies with their first major piece of silverware since Clive Lloyd led his side to victory in the 1979 ICC World Cup, Lara is confident that the all-rounder will continue to ensure that all the players uphold the standards that are expected of them.

“He’s going to ensure he does what is necessary for the team to be successful,” Lara said. “That is the way how a follower can actually help a leader, by being part of a team and willing make sure that everyone is moving in the right direction.

“Today Darren Sammy is captain of the West Indies team and if you are in the dressing room, I’ve heard, he has the same demeanour and he has a lot of people moving in the same direction he wants to move in.”

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