Love of cricket doesn’t buy you groceries at the supermarket: Darren Sammy | Cricket News


ADELAIDE: “It hurts man, it hurts.” Darren Sammy’s eyes, the sad smile says it all the moment he was asked about the terminal decline of West Indies Cricket.
The Caribbean team hit rock bottom at the ongoing T20 World Cup as the two-time champions (2012 and 2016) could not even qualify for the Super 12s.
As a double T20 World Cup winner, Sammy is bound to be frustrated and angry. But at the same time, he is pragmatic enough to understand the practical problems of not providing enough financial security Cricket West Indies (CWI).
Sammy is very clear that unlike BCCI, the West Indies board can never stop its players from choosing franchise leagues over playing for the various island nations.
“India is strong because they can tell their players that you don’t play anywhere else. You have to understand that they have the money to back it up,” Sammy told PTI in an exclusive interview about what the West Indies cricket is waning.
“An Indian A-list player who is contracted can probably earn a million dollars a year (Rs 7 crore plus match fees plus TV rights money) compared to a Windies A-lister, who earns USD 150,000 ( Rs 1.2 crore roughly) would earn.
“It is a big difference and of course the issue of pay (inequality) will always come up. It is very difficult for smaller boards (in terms of financial power) to keep their players together when they are well paid elsewhere,” Sammy said without mincing words. while hitting the nail on the head.
A sportsman’s peak period is short and it is no longer an amateur sport where passion was the biggest ration for men in flannel.
“Those days of playing for love are over. Love doesn’t buy you groceries at the supermarket,” Sammy says bluntly.
He feels that CWI could learn a thing or two from how New Zealand Cricket handled this dilemma.
“So, it’s a difficult period. I think NZC is doing it pretty well (no international cricket scheduled during IPL). If NZC can do it, it comes down to communication. It’s up to the players and the boards to have a working system.”
A commitment in a professional relationship requires certain kinds of sacrifices.
“If you say, you’re committed to me (player to plate or vice versa), then some sacrifice has to happen. You can’t be committed to me if nothing else is available to you.”
Russell and lack of communication
Players like Andre Russell did not take part in the T20 World Cup and one of IPL’s big signings, the current captain, Nicholas Pooran, did not look half as he is.
Sammy feels that communication is a two way street and both Russell and CWI need to get on the same page.
“I think it cuts both ways (referring to the communication gap). But one also has to show the desire to play. Desire is measured by action.
“I can say ‘I want to play, I want to play,’ but if my actions don’t show that, obviously there will be a communication gap,” Sammy said in a message to Russell.
“I don’t know what kind of communication happened between guys like Russell, Fabien Allen and Cricket West Indies, but it wasn’t good enough. But then in CPL we had young players who surpassed Russell and Co,” says the former skipper, who feels that no one is indispensable.
Playing only leagues can have negative effects
Sammy knows a thing or two about winning T20 World Cups and he strongly believes that being a star all-rounder in global leagues can make you the most sought-after player, but it certainly has its pitfalls while occasionally playing T20Is for play the country.
“I don’t know what motivates them (players), but one thing I know for sure. When West Indies won two T20 World Cups in 2012 and 2016, we were dominant in that phase because all our top T20 players still regularly played international cricket.
“Some played Tests and many of them played ODIs. Going against international bowlers was always there,” he elaborated.
A classic example for Sammy is Englishman Alex Hales, who has been a star in T20 leagues (not IPL), but after a long layoff is having trouble adjusting to international cricket.
“You can play a number of leagues but it’s difficult to play T20 leagues for a long time and turn up for your national team one fine day and expect to create magic. It doesn’t happen.
“Take the example of Alex Hales. For four years he faced franchise bowling and such a good player Alex is, at international level, you have three to four bowlers always on song. To play at that high level , you have to practice at it. high level.”
Playing for Caribbean nations not solution
What hurts Sammy is the lack of pride while wearing that iconic maroon West Indies jersey.
“For decades, that was our thing. When we came to T20 World Cups, win or lose, we had that fear factor in our jersey numbers. The teams knew they would have to bring their A-game.
“But that’s not the case at the moment. To think of a West Indies team not in the top 12 of a T20 World Cup is unthinkable.”
So, would playing for Barbados, Jamaica, Guyana at least in T20Is be a solution as there would be some pride in playing for the flag?
Sammy rejected the idea completely.
“No, I don’t think it will work as West Indies have too much history to be dissolved into island nations. A practical problem is also that all the islands do not have enough quality players to play for the nation,” he concluded.


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