happy-birthday-Darren-Sammy

Born December 20, 1983, Darren Julius Garvey Sammy is a Caribbean cricketer who plays international cricket for West Indies. At a very young age of 17, Sammy made his List A debut for Northern Windward Islands. He has been one of the main pillars of West Indies cricket team since he made his debut. Known for his ever-smiling character, Sammy has developed himself as one of the best players in Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is). He announced his retirement from Tests in May 2014 and is currently the part of West Indies’ limited-overs side. On his birthday, Abhishek Kumar digs out 25 interesting facts about him.

1. First international cricketer from St. Lucia

Sammy made his international debut in a One-Day International (ODI) match against New Zealand back in July, 2004 and became the first cricketer from St. Lucia to represent West Indies. After him, two more players from St. Lucia made their appearance for the West Indies side — Garey Mathurin and Johnson Charles.

2. From the batch of 2002 U-19 World Cup

Sammy was the part of West Indies Under-19 (U19) team in the 2002 U19 World Cup. In the same team, he played alongside players like Dwayne Bravo, Narsingh Deonarine, Ravi Rampaul, Shane Shillingford, Lendl Simmons and Gavin Tonge, who later went on to play for West Indies senior team. In the same tournament, there were many players who later became the captains of their respective national sides, like Ross Taylor, Hashim Amla, Mohammad Ashraful, Hamilton Masakadza, Azhar Ali and George Bailey.

3. Impressive Test debut

In the year 2007, when West Indies toured India for a Test series, Sammy was included in the side with a chance to make his debut in the longer format of the game. But just before the departure of the team, he suffered an injury and had to wait for his Test debut. Next year, in April, Sammy played for Central Lancashire League prior to the West Indies tour of England in May. Sammy was once again included in the side and took his first wicket in Alastair Cook in the first innings of his debut match. His economy rate stood apart in the match, which was 1.88 in a 17-over spell.

In the second innings, Sammy almost turned the game on its head by taking seven wickets by conceding just 66 runs and this was also the best bowling figures at Old Trafford since Malcolm Marshal’s 7 for 22 in 1988 and Alf Valentine’s 8 for 102 in 1950. Though West Indies lost the match by 60 runs, but Sammy made his remarkable debut and impressed the cricketing world with his bowling.

4. Office assistant

After leaving school, Sammy took a job as an office assistant at the Ministry of Commerce and his work was to look after all the letters. Sammy resigned from there when he started playing for West Indies.

5. Earliest World Cup memory

Sammy’s earliest World Cup memory is when he was a 13-year-old boy in 1996. Richie Richardson was the captain of the side and Sammy remembers Paul Adams bowling to Brian Lara, who scored century against South Africa in that match. He also has a good memory of the first two World Cups which West Indies won, though he was not born at that time but has watched many times on tape.

6. Workhorse of the team

In the year 2007, in an interview with Cricinfo, Sammy expressed his desired to become the ‘Workhorse’ of the team and said, “I have to work really hard on my batting, and I’m not an express fast bowler so I have to try to contain batsmen, and sometimes work them out to get wickets at the other end. I understand my role in the side and I just work hard in the nets or practice. Throughout my career, I’ve been known for long spells. I just want to be the workhorse of the team.”

7. First West Indies player to take five-wicket haul in T20Is

In the only T20I match against Zimbabwe in February 2010, Sammy registered his best bowling figures in the shortest format of the game by taking five wickets for 26 runs and became the first Caribbean to do so. He is also the third player to do so after Umar Gul and Nehemiah Odhiambo.

8. When Sammy got commented for his buttocks

In July 2015, when Caribbean Premier League (CPL) was going on and Sammy was busy playing for his home side St. Lucia Zouks, he came to know something very strange about himself. A woman tweeted about his buttocks and asked whether he gets offended or not when women are distracted by that part of his body.

9. Family man

In the month of September in 2015, Sammy posted an adorable video of his daughter from his Instagram account while getting treated from a dentist, where she reveals brushing her teeth every morning and his wife Cathy too replied very humbly. 

It’s true @cathynecole well done Darren

A video posted by daren (@darensammy88) on

10. Sammy’s rocking baby celebration During the 1994 FIFA World Cup quarterfinal, Bebeto, the Brazilian player had become a father and celebrated goal with that gesture while playing against Netherlands. Later, few of his teammates too joined him in the celebrations and made it all more memorable. Sammy did the same during the Indian Premier League 2013 and rocked his imaginary baby with a pacifier in his mouth! Father’s Day out!  cl_baby

11. When Sammy couldn’t stop his laugh Sammy is well known for his humorous acts and comical moves on and off the field. Due to the advancement of technology and enhancement of social media, the barrier between stars and their fans has reduced. They are well updated and informed about their most beloved stars through social media. In September 2015, Sammy found a very funny video and shared it through his Instagram account, where a man is riding a donkey, giving an impression that he is riding a bike! 

 

#sorry I just couldn’t stop @fidelratedr20 @sulie62 @kenexpress @kelvin3571

 

A video posted by daren (@darensammy88) on

12. Lady love

Sammy got married with Carnival queen Cathy Daniel in 2010 and in the same year, he was also appointed as the captain of the West Indies side. In an interview with nzherald.co.nz, Sammy saluted his wife Cathy, for her devotion to raising their family and said, “In my absence, she’s a tremendous woman so you’ve got to give her credit and prayers. To me she’s the rock of the family.”

13. Controversy with John Mooney

In the first match of West Indies in World Cup 2015, Sammy and Ireland bowler John Mooney were both found guilty for violating Level 1 offences of Article 2.1.4 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel and fined 30 percent of their match fees. The offences were committed in two separate events in the first innings of the match when Sammy, after playing a shot in the 34th over was heard on the screen using inappropriate language. While in the 45th over, Mooney swore numerous times when a fielder dropped a catch. Both the players owned up to the offences, Sammy even apologised on Twitter for his conduct.

14. T20I World Cup 2012

No doubt that West Indies are a very good T20I side and have a very good record in that format. But in 2012, they stunned cricketing world by winning the tournament in the nail-biting low-scoring match against Sri Lanka, which was lead by Darren Sammy. It was the first World Cup title since 1979 for West Indies and Sammy performed exceptionally in the final by scoring 26 runs from 15 balls and took two crucial wickets by conceding 6 runs in his two-over spell.

15. The heartbreaker

Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar played his career’s last match against West Indies in 2013 at Wankhede and Sammy had already promised that he would break the hearts of millions of fans and he did that by taking his catch and not allowing him to complete his century. Sammy held onto a brilliant catch of Tendulkar on his home ground and silenced the Wankhede when the batsman was in sight of a century. Though, it’s a fact that he didn’t celebrate his wicket and later in the match presentation Sammy said that ‘respect for Sachin Tendulkar prevented him from celebrating when he took the legendary batsman’s catch’. 

16. Oops moment for Sammy

During the second ODI between West Indies and India on June 8, 2011, an awkward incident happened with Sammy. On the fifth ball of the 20th over of India’s innings, Sammy bowled a good length delivery to Virat Kohli, which the latter pushed towards mid-on and from there, a throw from Edwards lands straight onto an unmentionable part of Sammy’s body, close to his thigh as he was not looking at the ball when it was coming towards him. There was a moment of oops and a bit laugh among the crowds but that hit Sammy really badly.

17. Sammy’s perfect answer to Shane Watson’s bouncer

During the first Test of Frank Worrell Trophy between West Indies and Australia in April 2012, Sammy got hit by a ferocious bouncer of Shane Watson. On the fourth ball of the 121st over, Sammy ducked the short delivery from Watson but the ball didn’t come up and hit him on the back of the helmet. He fell on the pitch after getting hit but there was no verbal exchange though. On the very next ball by Watson, Sammy replied him with a big six straight down the ground. This is how Sammy responded to a bouncer. A clean swing off his bat and crowd loved it too.

18. Sammy’s witty reply to Suresh Raina

During the ICC World T20 2014, Indian cricketer Suresh Raina made a quirky statement on West Indies cricket team by saying that they heavily rely on sixes and do not rotate the strike much. In reply, Sammy answered him in his typical Caribbean style and said, “Stop us from hitting sixes”.

19. When Darren Sammy had to wash utensils

It’s a true fact that Sammy is a core family man and he proved the same by sharing a video of himself doing the dishes and shared it on Instagram on August 2015.

 

20. Favourite movie

Sammy’s favourite movie is a famous documentary film on the record breaking West Indies cricket team of the 1970s and 1980s — Fire in Babylon.

21. Favourite World Cup match

The 1975 World Cup final is his favourite, though he was not born then and Sammy especially remembers that match for Viv Richards getting three run outs, which he watched on tape and found to be excellent.

22. Best death bowler

According to Sammy, Waqar Younis and Joel Garner were the best death bowlers and in current cricket, Sunil Narine is very difficult to hit in the death overs.

23. Most destructive batsman

Sammy considers his teammate Gayle and South African captain AB de Villiers as the most destructive batsman.

24. Best finisher

Whenever there is a question about finishers, the first name which comes to anyone’s mind is MS Dhoni and same is with Sammy too. As per his experience, Dhoni and de Villiers are definitely the best finishers of the game. Apart from them, he also finds his teammate Keiron Pollard a good finisher.

25. Sacked from West Indies

In the year 2016, Sammy once again led the Caribbean side in the ICC World T20 in India. The side was not the favourites but eventually ends up winning the tournament under his leadership for the second time. Sammy became the first captain to win this trophy twice with West Indies becoming second time champion in the shortest format of the game.

Post World T20, just before the two T20I series against India in the Caribbean, West Indies Cricket Board sacked Sammy both as captain and player. Sammy went quite emotional and posted a very emotional video from his official Facebook account.

(Abhishek Kumar is an aspiring cricket statistician and reporter with CricketCountry. He can be followed at @abhik2593.)