Vilified from Jamaica in the north to Guyana in the south and deemed not good enough to be in the side as player or captain, West Indies skipper Darren Sammy says he is not distracted by critics but focused on giving his all to bringing glory to the previously success-starved Windies team.
Speaking in the aftermath of West Indies’ 36-run victory over Sri Lanka in the ICC World T20 Final at the Premadasa Stadium yesterday, Sammy said he was not concerned about those who continued to criticise him. Drawing from a biblical analogy, Sammy said Jesus Christ was crucified without fault and compared to Him, he was nothing and not above criticism.
The first St Lucian to play for and captain the regional side said that while his critics had a job to do, he had always believed in playing the game for the people of the Caribbean.
“The commentators get paid to speak. The media get paid to write stories. I get paid to play cricket. Critics will always be there. Someone might find something wrong I did today [yesterday] even though we won. That does not worry me. The most important thing is that the team did well,” he said.
Sammy added: “And I always say I live my life one way. Christ came to this earth, did nothing wrong and yet was crucified. I’m nowhere close to that man. Anybody could have an opinion about me. I like it. My shoulders are broad enough. It’s been like that from the time I started cricket. Once I wear this [West Indies] crest (pointing to his shirt), I wear it on my heart. That’s what matters. If I turn up and don’t have a good day, I suck, I’ll come the next day and try and put in a better performance. I don’t play for glory. I play for the Caribbean people.”
Sammy, who took over the captaincy at a time of turmoil in West Indies cricket between senior players Ramnaresh Sarwan, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Chris Gayle on one side, and the West Indies Cricket Board on the other, said he hoped the West Indies victory would be the start of something new for regional cricket.
“This is the moment here, issues done and buried. Twenty20 World Cup, 2012, Sri Lanka – West Indies champion,” he said.
Quizzed as to what won the game for West Indies after being in the precarious position of 32 for 2 at the halfway stage of their innings, Sammy spoke about belief and faith in God.
“We have a strong belief in God. He works in mysterious ways. He performs wonders. Like I kept saying in every press conference, there’s a belief we had in the team. Yes, we expected them (Sri Lanka) to give us a good fight and they did . . . Throughout the last year or so, we’ve been showing that never-say-die attitude, but we’ve not been winning games. In this tournament, we’ve won games,” he said.