Darren Sammy © Getty Images
Darren Sammy © Getty Images

The last edition of the T20 Cricket World Cup that was held in India had a surprise winner. The former champion, and perhaps the most erratic and inconsistent of cricket sides, West Indies, lifted their second trophy in the tournament’s history that began more than 8 years ago. Darren Sammy, whose place in West Indies team across formats remains under constant criticism, became the first captain on the planet to win a T20 World Cup twice. Despite his unique achievement, Sammy, who doesn’t know when he will next play international cricket as he lacks a West Indies contract, has not found any taker for the ongoing ninth edition of Indian Premier League (IPL).

Sammy is not new to the IPL. He has played in the cash-rich T20 tournament for the struggling Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) as well as the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). But the cricketer, whose team owner in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) has requested the Pakistan government to provide Sammy the citizenship of the Asian country, has not found anyone in the IPL who believes in his talent.

The answer is simple: while Sammy led an inspirational campaign for West Indies in the T20 World Cup 2016, he had an ordinary time as an individual cricketer. Sammy featured in all matches in the T20 World Cup 2016 — he began the tournament with a half-century against Australia in the warm-up match — but failed to make any mark whatsoever in West Indies’ win.

Sammy featured in 6 games in the T20 World Cup 2016, scored 8 runs and took 1 wicket. The only wicket that he took came against a lowly Afghanistan. He bowled in only 2 games out of 6 and got an opportunity to bat in as many games. Sammy did extremely well to develop a lot of positive vibe in his team, challenge them to shut their critics, and spur them to the feat which not many had backed them to achieve.

In all, Sammy had a wonderful campaign as a captain that ended with an emotionally charged speech that sparked another debate in the cricket world. But as an individual cricketer, he left a lot to be desired.

Coming back to the IPL, the leadership is generally sorted for all the teams, barring Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), who changed their captain midway through IPL 9. Barring KXIP, every single IPL side has their captains, coaches and support staff putting in a lot of effort to construct teams as per their desires. The only department in which Sammy has done extremely well — in leadership — there is no opening in any of the IPL teams so far.

But, it will be too early to shut the doors for Sammy. The tournament has lost many of its star players and if that is what will trend this IPL, we may see few more players bowing out. Sammy, meanwhile, can carry on with his ‘world tour in St Lucia’ (as per Chris Gayle) with the T20 World Cup 2016 trophy, inspiring the school kids for greater feats in life.

Surprise, surprise! Darren Sammy has now joined the IPL, albeit as a commentator starting with the Match 32, between Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Kings XI Punjab (KXIP)!

(Devarchit Varma is senior writer with CricketCountry. He can be followed on Twitter @Devarchit)