Sammy gets ODI call as victimisation allegations swirl

BRIDGETOWN Barbados, CMC – All-rounder Darren Sammy has been named to replace Kemar Roach in the 15-man One-Day International squad to face South Africa next month, in another twist in the ongoing selection saga.

Darren Sammy
Darren Sammy

The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) announced the move on Wednesday, even as allegations of victimisation regarding Sammy and fellow all-rounders Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard, continued to swirl around the region.

Sammy, Bravo and Pollard were out all left out of the initial 14-man squad announced last Saturday, prompting the players’ attorney Ralph Thorne to accuse the WICB of victimisation, stemming from their roles in the abandoned tour of India last October.

“It becomes cynical, it is an insidious form of victimisation. It doesn’t make sense to include them in the 30-man squad for the World Cup – three very, very senior players – and then relegate them to mere T20 participation. It doesn’t make sense,” the prominent Queen’s Counsel complained in a recent radio interview here.

“It seems to me to be a mild form of ruthlessness that has been visited on these three players, because it really disqualifies them from any meaningful opportunity to get into the World Cup squad next year.”

However, with Roach ruled out of the Test series after failing to recover from an ankle injury sustained on the opening day of the first Test in Centurion, selectors have turned to Sammy again.

The 31-year-old, sacked as captain last year in favour of Bravo, has played 115 ODIs but boasts a modest record. He averages of 23 with the bat and 44 with the ball but can be a powerful lower order batsman and a steady medium pacer.

He joins a unit led by 23-year-old fast bowler Jason Holder who was announced to replace Bravo as captain, in a shock move by the Clive Lloyd-led selection panel.

Despite missing out on the ODI squad, Bravo and Pollard have been named in the T20 squad for the three-match series against South Africa which precedes the ODI tour.

The T20 series runs from January 9-14 with the five-match ODI tour bowling off two days later in Durban.

SQUAD – Jason Holder (captain), Sulieman Benn, Carlos Brathwaite, Jonathan Carter, Sheldon Cottrell, Narsingh Deonarine, Leon Johnson, Chris Gayle, Denesh Ramdin, Andre Russell, Marlon Samuels, Darren Sammy, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith, Jerome Taylor.

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