Sammy replaces Gayle as West Indies captain

Barbados: Darren Sammy was handed the task of rebuilding the fortunes of the once-mighty West Indies team when he was named as the new captain.

Jamaican Chris Gayle had been in charge of the side since 2007 but after team slid to seventh in the Test rankings and eighth in the one-day standings, the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) decided to change the leadership.

"Chris Gayle led the West Indies during a challenging period and the board thanks him for stepping up then," WICB chief executive Ernest Hilaire said in a statement.

"But it is now time to pass the mantle on as the West Indies rebuilds."

Selection committee chairman Clyde Butts added: "We are at the dawn of a new era in West Indies cricket and we have entrusted the challenging job of captaincy to Darren Sammy because it is believed that he has demonstrated the attributes of a leader of this diverse group of men."

The 26-year-old Sammy has played eight Tests, 43 one-dayers and 19 Twenty20 internationals and will hope to help West Indies recapture the form that brought them 11 successive Test wins during the 1980s.

The fast bowler`s first task will be to lead the side during a six-week tour of Sri Lanka which begins on Nov. 15.

"Being appointed West Indies captain is an honour and distinction which I will treat with the highest regard and dignity," Sammy, who hails from St Lucia, said.

"I have always given my all when I prepare and play for the West Indies and nothing will change now. I know this will be a difficult challenge and I will take the torch from Chris and hold it high as we forge ahead."

Brendan Nash was named as vice-captain.

Squad for Sri Lanka Test series: Darren Sammy (captain), Brendan Nash (vice captain), Chris Gayle, Adrian Barath, Carlton Baugh Jr, Sulieman Benn, Darren Bravo, Dwayne Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Nelon Pascal, Kemar Roach, Andre Russell, Shane Shillingford, Devon Smith, Devon Thomas

Bureau Report