LONDON—Celebrated former West Indies captain Darren Sammy says he wants to be part of a development thrust that sees more international cricketers emerging from his homeland St Lucia.
The two-time Twenty20 World Cup-winning skipper said with the likes of Johnson Charles, Garey Mathurin and himself having represented West Indies in recent years, it was important to groom a new generation of players from the island.
“Cricket is the one thing that has been a uniting force in the Caribbean and over the years with myself and Johnson Charles and Garey Mathurin getting to make it at the international level, it has created much more interest,” Sammy said here at a Caribbean Premier League event to announce the new owners of the St Lucia Zouks franchise.
“Cricket is still the number one sport in St Lucia and with the proper planning and the right people coming on board we could even further develop more young cricketers.
“My dream is that the next [five or 10 years] that we have more West Indies cricketers coming from St Lucia and to keep the legacy going.” Sammy made history by becoming the first player from St Lucia to play international cricket, going on to captain West Indies in all three formats.
Last April, he had a hand in another piece of history as he led the Caribbean side to an unprecedented second Twenty20 World Cup triumph in India. Sammy, who also skippers Zouks, believes the CPL tournament can play a major role in helping to develop local cricketers.
“Whoever comes and invests [in Zouks], CPL has it mandatory that there must be a few Under-19 guys in the system and also someone from the Americas as well, so it’s all about developing,” he said.
“Last year we had (Mike) Hussey, Shane Watson, Grant Elliott and these guys are true professionals and if you have Hussey in the dressing room, it makes Stuart’s (coach Stuart Williams) life very easy because the knowledge he has, any youngster coming into that dressing room mixing with such calibre of players will want to learn.
“I learnt a lot as captain as a player so it’s all about putting that package out there, that brand which will attract the internationals but will also develop the youngsters and create that interest in the Caribbean.”
On Thursday, CPL organisers announced that United States-businessman Jignesh ‘Jay’ Pandya, had purchased the Zouks franchise.
Pandya is the founder of real estate venture, Rohan Group of companies, and serves as chairman of Global Sports Ventures and Royal Sports Club.