11 October 2012
Article reproduced courtesy of ECB, see original article here
Assistant coach Toby Radford has paid tribute to Darren Sammy for leading a renaissance in West Indies cricket by guiding them to the World Twenty20 crown.
Sammy, often maligned after taking the captaincy in 2010 as many questioned his place in the XI, helped the Windies overcome hosts Sri Lanka on Sunday.
The triumph was a high point for a team unified by their St Lucian skipper - and Radford could not hide his delight for the 28-year-old.
The former Middlesex supremo, who helped set up West Indiesâ€™ performance centre before getting the call to assist Ottis Gibson, told ecb.co.uk: â€œHe (Sammy) has done a really good job on the field with the players.
â€œHe speaks very well publicly and in the team meetings; he is a good man and I am really pleased for him because he has had his detractors.
In conversation with ecb.co.uk, Toby Radford talked up Darren Sammy's influence on West Indies' World Twenty20 triumph in Sri Lanka
â€œPeople have been critical of him but he has just sort of kept going and always worked with a smile on his face. I know the hard work heâ€™s put in and what heâ€™s put up with.
â€œHis philosophy is interesting. He says â€˜We are on this planet for a short time; if people do not like me then that is their problemâ€™. Bad things do not bother him and I think itâ€™s a good philosophy.
â€œHe keeps a smile on his face and, in the end, you get where you want to go. I am really pleased for him and for everyone involved, Gibbo and everyone else.â€
While Windies teams in recent times have all too often been overshadowed by fractions in the camp, Sammy and Gibson have combined to bring a harmony - the results of which are evident on the field.
â€œItâ€™s important that the captain and coach work well together,â€ added Radford. â€œThey have got to come up with the plans off the field that have to be delivered on it.
â€œIf those two have got different ideas, I do not think it would ever work. They are very close, they do work well together and I think Sammy has been exemplary as a leader.
â€œThe team we had (for the World Twenty20) is full of all-stars; there are a few millionaires in there who have been around the world and dominated.
â€œWhat he (Sammy) has done well is taking their advice and getting them together as a group, which is not easy - itâ€™s a management skill.
â€œEveryone thinks itâ€™s their team. Rather than feeling like youâ€™re being pulled down the road, you are having an input.â€
The Sammy-Gibson axis has no doubt been important, yet West Indies have also been boosted by the return of superstar opener Chris Gayle.
The 33-year-old ended a long exile from international cricket against England this summer, committing to representing the Windies in all forms.
He was, predictably, one of the stars of the World Twenty20, with his performances leaving many - including Radford - in awe.
Radford felt Marlon Samuels' brilliant 76 was the main reason West Indies beat Sri Lanka in the final. "Without that innings, I do not think we would have won," the assistant coach admitted
â€œItâ€™s massive (to have him back),â€ said Radford. â€œI see opposition almost shudder when he turns up because his presence at the crease is dominant.
â€œHe is a huge force for us and his presence gives confidence to younger players as well. They learn from him; how can you not if youâ€™re batting at the other end?
â€œHeâ€™s a world-class player. Nothing really seems to faze him and when he walks over that line, you get a top-class batter who is focussed 100 per cent.â€
Gayle often gets many of the plaudits, yet, though he has been excellent since returning for the Windies, Marlon Samuels has been the sideâ€™s outstanding player in the last few months.
That was more evident than ever in Sundayâ€™s showpiece finale, when he almost single-handedly took West Indies to victory with a 56-ball 78, including five sixes.
Radford added: â€œHis (resurgence) came on the back of a time when he really struggled in March/April time against Australia.
â€œSince then, he has been phenomenal against England, New Zealand and in this â€˜World Cupâ€™. He is incredibly consistent at the moment.
â€œHe works his way in and can then hit almost as hard as Chris; some of the shots against (Lasith) Malinga were wonderful. He won that game. Without that innings, I do not think we would have won that match.
â€œHeâ€™s similar to Chris off the field in terms of being calm, but once you get that focus, he is 100 per cent on the job and nine times out of 10 gets it done.â€