Castries (St. Lucia), May 14 IANS | 6 months ago

Former West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) chief executive Ernest Hilaire has branded Darren Sammy's axing as Test captain "premature".

Hilaire, an often controversial and straight-talking administrator, told HTS Channel Four here Tuesday that Sammy had been appointed to carry out the specific task of rebuilding the regional team, but that process had not yet been completed, reports CMC.

The WICB sacked Sammy as captain Friday after nearly four years in charge, in favour of wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin. Sammy subsequently retired from the Test format.

"As to whether it (sacking) is the best timing, personally I think it is premature," said Hilaire.

"I think there was always an understanding that Darren was going to be interim as a new team was being built and that he was going to lead the interim and rebuilding phase until the team had reached a stage and had the players that would constitute what one could call the ideal team structure," he added. Hilaire stepped down from the WICB in 2012 after three years in charge.

"As to whether the West Indies have reached that stage, I don't think so. I still don't think they have all the requirements in place where they can move in that direction and therefore it is probably premature to have removed Darren as captain, and certainly discarded of him as even a player."

"But that's what it is and that's what the selectors have informed him and he acted in a manner which the thought was in his best interest."

Sammy led the West Indies in 30 of his 38 Tests, finishing with eight wins, 12 defeats and ten draws. A vibrant and well-respected personality, Sammy was credited for returning discipline and stability to the West Indies side.

However, with a batting average of 21 and a bowling average of 35, his place in the side came under constant scrutiny. And with the Test side suffering heavy defeats away to India and New Zealand last year, more pressure was brought to bear on Sammy's position.

(Posted on 14-05-2014)

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