Sammy promises to restore West Indian pride and passion

Colombo: Darren Sammy has vowed to restore pride and passion in West Indies cricket after replacing Chris Gayle as skipper.

"My role as captain firstly will be to lead from the front. I intend to bring energy, passion and performance to this West Indies set-up," Sammy told a news conference at the start of their six-week tour of Sri Lanka.

"We want to bring the passion and pride back to West Indies fans because for us in the Caribbean, cricket is more than just a game.”

"All the players who are here are committed and we are going to try to take the team back up the ladder," added the 27-year-old all-rounder.

The glory days of the 1970s and 1980s are a distant memory for West Indies who are now struggling at number seven in the Test rankings.

"All my life I`ve been dreaming to be a West Indies cricketer," added Sammy. "All I wanted to do was play and represent the West Indies so being named captain is more of an honour than a surprise.”

"Captaining any side is a massive challenge. That is one I am ready to face ... and I will try to lead the West Indies team with pride and dignity."

Sammy is confident his squad will do well in Sri Lanka despite being without the experienced Ramnaresh Sarwan, Denesh Ramdin and Jerome Taylor.

"I don`t think we are short of experience because some of the senior players are missing," said Sammy. "The selectors have come up with the best team to represent us.”

"I am very confident in all the players I have here. We had a training camp leading up to the tour and I must say all the guys put in a lot of work back in the Caribbean.”

"We are all happy with the results of the camp. We have a practice game coming up tomorrow and all the guys are looking forward to starting the tour on a good note," added Sammy who will hope for plenty of runs from opening batsman Gayle.

West Indies begin a three-day game against a President`s XI captained by test batsman Thilan Samaraweera on Wednesday.

The tourists go on to play three Tests, five one-dayers and one Twenty20 match against Sri Lanka.

Bureau Report