Sammy backs Gibson`s approach to team building

Nottingham (England): Captain Darren Sammy has come to the defence of under-fire West Indies head coach Ottis Gibson, contending that the Barbadian had transformed the side into a committed, hard-working unit which is now reflecting the cricketing pride of the Caribbean.

Gibson, who took charge of the West Indies team just over two years ago, has come under criticism for his handling of senior players, many of whom have fallen out of favour under his watch.

But Sammy said Gibson has brought in a professional work ethic which was helping to rebuild the team.

"We`ve been going down at the bottom for the last 15 or so years and we kept doing the same things over and over [again]. Somebody said to me if you do the same thing over and over and expect change, you`re crazy," the all-rounder told reporters.

"He came on board with a whole new set of ideas - [instilling] a determination to work hard for yourself and the team. [Looking after your] fitness. Like in most sports, the fitter you are the more you stand the chance of performing."

"He had gotten us to play a brand of cricket that the Caribbean fans will come out and watch, and see the determination," Sammy said.

Gibson created a firestorm last year when he criticised senior players for not pulling their weight during the World Cup when the West Indies bowed out at the quarter-final stage.

This caused experienced opener Chris Gayle to lash out at both Gibson and the West Indies Cricket Board, leading to the left-hander`s exclusion from selection.

Another senior player, Ramnaresh Sarwan said this week that "certain individuals" in the West Indies coaching set-up had destroyed his confidence.

However, Sammy said under Gibson the side was now playing with a higher degree of aptitude.

"Even if we don`t win, you could see the passion and... that we are competing against the higher ranked teams," Sammy pointed out.

"So far, we have been able to do that and everybody who comes into the set-up, that`s the set-up they`re coming into. This West Indies team is a hardworking team and that`s what we`re building on."