Saint Lucia, Windward Islands and West Indies all rounder Darren Sammy is enjoying some much-deserved down time at home, but his agent is apparently hard at work.
The globetrotting 31-year-old was this week announced as a member of the Hobart Hurricanes for Australia’s Big Bash League 2015, the fifth edition of the antipodean Twenty20 competition.
The West Indies Twenty20 captain has played with Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League, and captains the Saint Lucia Zouks in the Caribbean Premier League. He will join up with his new IPL side, Royal Challengers Bangalore, in the coming days, prior to joining the Nottinghamshire Outlaws for part of the NatWest T20 Blast in England.
But it was Down Under in 2014 that Darren had an instant impact, hitting 38 off 12 deliveries in his first game in purple, earning Man Of The Match honours.
His debut season was cut short as he was called up to join the West Indies team in South Africa and then for the World Cup, but his cult status in Australia has won him another run this summer.
The BBL|05 agreement is an extension of the West Indian’s original contract which included an option for a second season; an option which Darren has taken the Hurricanes up on.
“Why wouldn’t I want to come back?” said Darren. “After all, nothing hits you like a hurricane. It felt like a home away from home with the ‘Cane Train and in the beautiful city of Hobart. It’s a great team, great city and full of great people.” Overall, Darren averaged 21 with the bat at a massive strike rate of 210 last season, and also picked up two wickets.
Darren became one of the most popular Hurricanes last season with his exciting batting style and contagious dancehall-inspired wicket celebrations. “The Purple Army is up there with one of the best home crowds in the world,” said the man from Dugard, Micoud. “I can’t wait to play in front of them again. Tell everyone in Hobart to big up themselves! I’m coming back!”
According to Hurricanes General Manager Michael Roberts, Darren brought excitement, flair and entertainment to the Hurricanes last season: “He’s an asset both on and off the field,” said the GM. “It’s amazing how many people in the street have said that we need to get Darren back! It’s rare that a player has such an impact with fans and especially so quickly.”
An average of almost 14,000 people attended the Hurricanes’ home matches at Blundstone Arena last season and Sammy said he expected the crowds to get bigger and louder next season.
Darren joins fast bowler and Twenty20 specialist Shaun Tait as recruits for next season’s BBL, with Sri Lankan star Kumar Sangakkara currently in negotiations to join the side.