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St Lucia national ground renamed after Sammy

06 April 2016

cricket.com.au


cricket.com.au


Windies captain - and opener Charles - honoured by PM of small Caribbean nation

St Lucia's national cricket ground will be renamed in honour of Darren Sammy as the afterglow of the West Indies incredible ICC World T20 success continues to shine in the Caribbean.

St Lucia Prime Minister Kenny Anthony announced yesterday that Beausejour Stadium will be renamed Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium after the Windies captain led his team to glory in thrilling fashion in the World T20 final against England on Sunday night.

Opening batsman Johnson Charles, the other St Lucian in the West Indies squad, will have a grandstand named after him at the venue and receive a plot of land on St Lucia, a small Caribbean island most famed as a tourist destination and boasting a population of less than 200,000.

Sammy is the first international cricketer to emerge from the island nation, having first represented West Indies an ODI cricket in 2004, and has gone on to captain his country in all three formats.

WATCH: Sammy praises teammates, criticises board

An emotional Sammy addressed the ongoing problems between the West Indies players and the West Indies Cricket Board post-match, and opened up on the motivation his team gained from comments from commentator Mark Nicholas, who said the side was "short of brains".

"(Winning the World T20) shows the depth we have in the Caribbean in T20 cricket and hopefully with the right structure and development our cricket will continue to improve in one-day and Test cricket," he said.

"We started this journey … we all know we had … people were wondering whether we would play this tournament.

"We had a lot of issues, we felt disrespected by our board, Mark Nicholas described our team as a team with no brains.

"All these things before the tournament just brought this team together.

"I really want to thank these 15 men, the ability to just put all those adversities aside and to come out and play this type of cricket in front of such passionate fans, it's just tremendous.

"(Before or after the final) I'm yet to hear from our own cricket board. That is very disappointing.

"For today, I'm going to celebrate with these 15 men and coaching staff. I don't know when I'm going to be playing with these guys again because we don't get selected for one-day cricket. We don't know when we're going to be playing T20."

Nicholas has since apologised for his comment, expressing his regret via his ESPN Cricinfo column.

"(I) offer an unreserved apology to Darren Sammy, a man I hold in the highest regard, to his team and to the coaches around them for the throwaway phrase I used in a recent column on these pages," he wrote.

"I did not say West Indies were 'brainless' or had 'no brains', as has been misquoted elsewhere, but I did say something unworthy of the game and disrespectful to a great cricketing legacy.

"My thought was based (a) on what I had seen in Australia, first during the World Cup and then during the recent Test matches against the Australians, when the admirable Jason Holder received scant support from influential players around him, and then (b) on the fact that many West Indians know their way around the IPL, which must be useful.

Quick Single: Windies teammates stand by Samuels

"But it was a throwaway, not a considered judgement, and frankly, pretty damn lazy because it did not take account of the different personnel. I regret it and apologise for it."

The WICB meanwhile, have suggested their "annual review" in May, to be held after the Indian Premier League in which several high-profile West Indians will be playing, will provide an opportunity for the players, team management and coaching staff to settle their differences.

"We want to see how we can find common ground in ensuring that the best players in the region are available for selection for West Indies teams," said WICB President Dave Cameron in a statement. "We are fully aware of the financial rewards on offer in the lucrative international T20 leagues, but we believe deeply in the importance of cricket to the people of the region and of West Indies cricket’s place in world cricket.

"It is therefore a priority to have all of our players competing and available for selection. We will also engage the ICC on this so that we protect not only the rich heritage and legacy of West Indies Cricket, but also its future."