Darren Sammy was the toast of the Hyderabadis — not just for hitting two sixes under pressure to ensure Sunrisers’ win over Kolkata Knight Riders in the last IPL game in Hyderabad — but also for the way he has endeared himself to the crowds with his now-famous celebrations by popping a child-pacifier in his mouth.
“I am in the happiest phase of my life. As a young boy, I always dreamt of playing for West Indies. Watching Junior Murray get accolades and incentives for his performances then, stayed on my mind,” said the 29-year-old Darren Sammy in an exclusive chat with The Hindu.
“The IPL is a big hit in West Indies too. But with divided loyalties. If you are a Jamaican, you would support Gayle and Royal Challengers Bangalore. While if you are from St. Lucia (from where Sammy hails), then the favourite would be Sunrisers Hyderabad,” revealed Sammy.
“I cherish every moment of my achievements and it gives me great pleasure to be in the company of some big names while playing for SRH,” said Sammy who led West Indies to a T20 World Cup victory in Sri Lanka last year.
“There are many interesting things about playing for SRH. V.V.S. Laxman has a terrific sense of humour which I could not spot when he was playing Test matches against us,” said Sammy. “Then Waqar Younis, Krish Srikkanth and Tom Moody have a wealth of experience from which we can benefit,” he added.
What has made SRH so formidable in its debut season in the IPL? “I think credit should go to the support staff headed by Moody. They keep things simple and make each player feel important in the game-plan. And they have plans against all teams and players. So all that we as players are expected to do, is to execute them,” says Sammy.
“I am enjoying this IPL thanks to the window provided by the West Indies Cricket Board. Especially in front of the crowds in Hyderabad. People here are as crazy about cricket as they are in West Indies,” remarked Sammy.
What does he feel about the future outlook in this IPL? “We are focused on what we have to do. We have played good cricket and it was fantastic to finish our last home game in style. It was good for the Hyderabad crowd,” remarked Sammy after SRH made it to the play-offs. “Having reached thus far, all we look for is a couple of good games to finish off on a high in this IPL.”