TRINIDAD EXPRESS – Former West Indies skipper Darren Sammy has advised current captain Jason Holder to get down on his knees and pray as the going gets tough in this year’s ICC Cricket World Cup.
Sammy told the Express that he can only imagine how Holder feels after a rough baptism as captain of a team who have lost five of their last six ODIs, with the most recent being a deflating defeat by six wickets to Ireland in the first round of the World Cup competition.
“I would say to Jason: stay strong, pray to the man above because He controls all things,” said Sammy after the West Indies went down by four wickets at the Saxton Oval on Monday.
“If you are feeling down He (the Almighty) can turn it around because He controls all things. What I can do is reassure Jason that he has my support and the entire team wants to see him do well. But we will be on a plane back to the Caribbean if we continue like this.”
The 23-year-old Holder, the youngest captain at the ICC Cricket World Cup, accepted the position to lead the team at a turbulent time which followed the West Indies’ abandoned tour of India last October. Sammy doesn’t believe it was the right thing for Holder to do.
“He didn’t ask to be put in that situation and I will try my best to help him along because captaining West Indies is very tough. Luckily for me I had the support of a good family when it was my time to endure hardship.”
On Monday, West Indies bowlers delivered a barrage of short-pitch bowling and half volleys with Paul Sterling, Ed Joyce and Nail O’Brien contributing half centuries to see Ireland to their victory with 25 balls to spare.
It spoilt a perfect day for Lendl Simmons whose polished century and record-equaling sixth-wicket stand with Sammy accounted for little in the end. It was also a landmark day for Sammy, whose innings of 89 was his highest ODI score.
Holder had a torrid day at the office, dropping a catch, starting the innings with five wides and generally struggling to rally his bowlers whose line and lengths were horrible.
“We are just not sticking to our game plan. We are not putting balls to create pressure and are just being on the losing side,” Sammy continued to lament.
He did not rule out winning the next match against Pakistan, who lost their first match to India, but it seems that it will take more than a prayer for the West Indies to pull themselves together.