ST. JOHN’S: Daren Sammy, the only man to lead his side to two T20 World Cup titles, was on Friday appointed the new head coach of West Indies’ white ball teams, the country’s cricket board (CWI) announced.

The 39-year-old from St Lucia captained West Indies to victory over Sri Lanka in the 2012 T20 World Cup final and again in 2016 when they beat England in a dramatic decider.

Within months of the second triumph Sammy, who skippered West Indies in all three formats of the game, was removed as captain but went on to play franchise white ball cricket around the world.

Since retiring as a player, Sammy has coached teams in the Pakistan Super League and the Caribbean Premier League.

His first job will be a three-match ODI series against UAE in Sharjah next month, ahead of the the World Cup qualifying tournament in Zimbabwe.

West Indies failed to qualify automatically and will now take part in the 10-team tournament to try and take one of the two remaining slots in the main event which will take place in India later in the year.

“It will be a challenge but one that I’m ready for and excited about. I’m really looking forward to the opportunity, especially looking at the players we have and the impact that I believe I can have in the dressing room,” Sammy said.

“When I look around there is an abundance of talent. And what I saw in South Africa in the white ball matches under new captains Shai Hope and Rovman Powell and the leadership provided by Andre Coley, there is great belief that we can do well.

“I believe I will bring the same approach as I had as a player - the passion, the desire for success, and my undying love for West Indies cricket.”

Cricket West Indies, who decided in March to engage separate coaches for the limited over and Test teams, also appointed former Jamaica wicketkeeper/batsman Coley as the new head coach of the Test side.

“I am looking forward to the challenges ahead, as well as the opportunities as we sharpen our focus on moving up the test rankings, and qualifying for the World Test Championship final in June 2025,” Coley said.

Coley, 48, was interim head coach of the red ball side when West Indies toured Zimbabwe and South Africa earlier this year. He will also coach the West Indies A team.

“They are well equipped for their roles, and we are confident they will bring different perspectives, skills and real passion to the West Indies dressing room,” said Johnny Grave, CEO of CWI.

“The introduction of separate coaches signals the start of a new approach for the West Indies men’s teams. We know it will enable greater focus on player communication, team planning and preparation to the benefit of our players and West Indies cricket.”

PAUL AND MOTIE RECALLED FOR WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS

On Thursday, West Indies recalled all-rounder Keemo Paul and left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie for the World Cup qualifiers.

New ODI skipper Sai Hope will be able to call on Paul and Motie for the first time since last July’s ODI series against India in Trinidad.

Lead selector, former test opener Desmond Haynes, said he had high hopes for the returning pair.

“Paul is a three-dimensional player, who can bowl the new ball effectively, he’s dynamic in the outfield and he can also make vital runs. He is now fully recovered from injury and with his skill-set we see him as a potential match-winner for us,” he said.

“Motie was excellent in the Test matches in the Zimbabwe earlier this year, where he took 19 wickets, and we anticipate similar conditions for the qualifiers. We believe he will again relish the chance to bowl in those conditions,” he added.

The main omission from the squad is Guyanese batsman and T20 star Shimron Hetmyer who was dropped from the World Cup squad last year after a dispute over flights shortly before the tournament.

Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Ireland and the Nether­lands are the main rivals for West Indies in the battle for qualification for the main tournament.

Nepal, Oman, Scotland, the United Arab Emirates and the United States are also competing for a chance to make it to India.

West Indies will play three ODI warm-ups against the United Arab Emirates without players performing in the Indian Premier League, who have been allowed rest time in the Caribbean before heading to Zimbabwe.

Squad: Shai Hope (captain), Rovman Powell (vice captain), Shamarh Brooks, Yannic Cariah, Keacy Carty, Roston Chase, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Gudakesh Motie, Keemo Paul, Nicholas Pooran, Romario Shepherd.

Published in Dawn, May 13th, 2023

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