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'Scared' Sammy fears the worst for Windies

20 June 2017

"I'm very scared we will be relegated to be playing against Ireland and Scotland. It's very sad for us.' // Getty

World T20-winning skipper says current side 'are not going anywhere' due to board's inflexibility on domestic T20 stints

Former captain Darren Sammy has warned leading Caribbean cricketers will continue to opt for lucrative T20 stints over international cricket, and says he fears the West Indies will soon be consigned to competing with the likes of Ireland and Scotland.

Cricket West Indies pick players for their international sides only if they feature in that format domestically, a stance that has angered top players as it forces them to choose between the lure of domestic T20 tournaments and playing for the Windies.  

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Most of the region's top players appear in the Caribbean Premier League T20 tournament but their first-class and one-day competitions clash with competitions like the KFC Big Bash League and the Pakistan Super League.

Allrounder Sammy, who has not played for the West Indies since leading them to the 2016 World Twenty20 title in India, believes there's no prospect of the big names returning to international duty any time soon.

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"With the current administration I don't see that happening," Sammy told the BBC on Monday.

"I can't tell a player not to play in a league when it could make them financially stable to look after their family."

West Indies won the World T20 in 2012 and 2016, but have had little success in cricket's other formats recently.

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They are currently eighth on the International Cricket Council's Test rankings and ninth in the ODI standings - a position that saw them fail to qualify for this month's Champions Trophy in the United Kingdom.

"The way we structure our cricket, we're not going anywhere," Sammy added.

"I'm very scared we will be relegated to be playing against Ireland and Scotland. It's very sad for us.

"If you really have West Indies cricket at heart you will have the right players for all the formats playing and helping you get to tournaments."

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In response to Sammy's remarks, Cricket West Indies said it was close to resolving issues of player eligibility and stressed it was focused on the upcoming ODI series against India.

"Regarding player eligibility … there has been ongoing meetings with the players in large and small groups and we feel we are closer to a resolution," CWI said in a statement.

"Cricket West Indies remains focused on its role to facilitate player development through its competitions and other support services.

"We remain focused on the 2019 World Cup Qualification. We are just about ready to start an exciting series against India."

Provocative allrounder Marlon Samuels in February expressed his frustration over having to choose between T20 stints and playing for the West Indies after he missed selection in their ODI squad to play England.

"I'm not 20," Samuels told SportMax Zone. "You're still telling me to miss out on everything. Why can't you compromise?" 

"The rule they have doesn't make any sense. You have to compromise.

"The money is not the issue at the moment, I've been playing international cricket (for close to) 17 years so have set myself the right way.

"This is about principle, about being loyal. I've been a loyal soldier for West Indies cricket and continue to play. 

"I showed some loyalty, so I expect a bit of loyalty."

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