Newly-appointed West Indies white-ball skipper Daren Sammy understands the difficulty of the job he has taken on and remains positive about the team, noting that, “we are not far off” from consistently winning matches and becoming an elite international side again.
Speaking to the regional media during a virtual meeting yesterday, the former West Indies captain didn’t shy away from questions surrounding his coaching qualifications and experience, and he held firm to his belief that he can improve the T20 and One-Day International squads.
“I’m a work in progress and I understand the challenges in front of me but I also believe in the impact and effect I could have in this generation right now and I will not let ‘because I don’t have a certificate’ stop me from taking on the challenges that I know I’m equipped to handle,” said Sammy, who led the Windies to two T20 World Cup titles in 2012 and 2016.
He also revealed that he has already started the process of advancing his coaching qualifications but said, “don’t think for one minute that I will ever question myself that I’m not fit for that job or this role that I’m in.”
He continued: “Life is about breaking barriers and believing in yourself and trusting in the processes that could lead to success.
“My strongest asset is the willpower that I have and the belief and I don’t see challenges as fears. I see challenges as a way to become better. I am paid to bring results to West Indies cricket and I’m vouching now that I will do it to the best of my ability.”
Making reference to his coaching staff, Sammy added: “I believe I could have an impact with the men I surround myself with and with the team and the two captains. I believe I can get the job done and start moving the needle in the right direction.”
While Cricket West Indies has not announced the coaching staff that will be assisting Sammy, the new head coach said he has already spoken to them about his philosophy and his expectations of them.
He said he will not adopt the “my way of the highway” approach.
For me, all the experience I have gathered working with different people and now putting all this into my style and my way, but is not my way or the highway. It’s incorporating everyone to pull in one direction, trying to get results for our teams and inspire the next generation of cricketers and fans,” he explained.
“The first thing I said when I spoke to my staff is that when we pack our bags, leave the ego at home. Yes, I am the head coach but it takes a team effort in order to move things forward. It will take all of us to make it happen. I have also incorporated everyone into the work and job that has to be done and that is why it is a team,” he added.
Asked for his assessment of where the team is at, Sammy said: “Numbers don’t lie.”
“We’re at number nine and number eight and we are there for a reason. We’ve not been consistent enough. But when I look at the data ahead of me, what we have done in the last five years or in the last year where we’ve been losing games at different stages but we are not far off and that excites me,” he explained.
“When I am trying to build an elite team and I look at what others are doing versus what we are doing, we are not far off if we could build on these things and improve them,” Sammy added.
The new coach will take charge of the team for the upcoming ODI tour of UAE which takes places ahead of the World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe.