Cricket / Twenty20 / West Indies believe again after triumph in Sri Lanka
On Sunday, Sammy celebrated West Indies' biggest tournament success since the 1979 World Cup triumph after his team defeated hosts Sri Lanka in the final of the World Twenty20.
When Darren Sammy was appointed West Indies captain two years ago, there were plenty who doubted whether he was the right choice as the latest man to try to turn around Caribbean cricket.
Even those who quickly appreciated the quiet but firm style of leadership Sammy brought to a young team were unconvinced about whether his unheralded skill-set merited an automatic place on the team.
On Sunday, Sammy celebrated West Indies' biggest tournament success since the 1979 World Cup triumph after his team defeated hosts Sri Lanka in the final of the World Twenty20. But typically, the modest St. Lucian passed up the chance to take a shot at his critics.
"I never worry about the critics .... Everybody will have an opinion, but when I go out there on the field, I go on to play for this crest," he said, tapping the West Indies badge on his shirt.
The symbol of Caribbean cricket has been associated more with what Bob Marley called "fussing and a-fighting" than with success, but Sammy and coach Ottis Gibson have been able to create a winning team spirit that has been absent for so long.
Contract rows, disputes over captaincy and selection, player strikes and allegations of mismanagement have hampered West Indies cricket through the past two decades of decline.
Talk in the cricket-obsessed Caribbean turned from the question of when the days of domination from the 1970s and '80s would return to simply whether West Indies would be capable of even being competitive again.
The question remains open for test cricket, but in the shortest format, Sammy's team has shown that it is capable of getting back to the top - a huge psychological boost with a broader impact that should not be underestimated.
"This is definitely a step forward. We believe we can win matches. We're not trying just to compete anymore," said Sammy.
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