Daren Sammy, who led West Indies to two T20 World Cup titles, has been named head coach of West Indies’ T20I and ODI teams. Andre Coley, who was West Indies’ interim coach after Phil Simmons resigned, will be in charge of the Test and West Indies A teams.
Sammy had applied only for the white-ball job, according to Kishore Shallow, who took over from Ricky Skerritt as CWI president in March. Shallow also said that a total of 20 applications from around the world had come to the board. Former West Indies captain Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who had coached Jamaica Tallawahs to the CPL title in 2022, was among those who had applied for the job. A panel of five, comprising Jimmy Adams, CWI’s director of cricket, Enoch Lewis, the chair of cricket committee, Oneka Martin-Bird, the board’s HR manager, Debra Coryat-Patton, one of CWI’s newly independent directors, and Shallow conducted the interviews.
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Sammy’s first assignment will be a three-match ODI series against the UAE in Sharjah in June, which will form part of the preparations for the World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe in June-July. ”It will be a challenge but one that I’m ready for and excited about,” Sammy said in a CWI statement. “I’m really looking forward to the opportunity, especially looking at the players we have and the impact that I believe I can have in the dressing room. I believe I will bring the same approach as I had as a player: the passion, the desire for success, and my undying love for West Indies cricket.
“When I look around there is an abundance of talent, and what I saw in South Africa in the white-ball matches under new captains Shai Hope and Rovman Powell and the leadership provided by Andre Coley, there is great belief that we can do well. I’m looking forward to imparting my knowledge, my tactical acumen, my communication skills and my management skills. I get excited about putting the plans together and seeing the players execute them.”
Sammy has coaching experience in the CPL and the PSL, but this will be his first assignment in international cricket. While Sammy is not a certified coach, Shallow pointed out that he fulfilled all the criteria necessary for a coaching role. “There’s a different set of criteria that you know don’t necessarily need to be a Level 3 [coach],” Shallow said. “It’s ideal, but when we go through the different assessments, he certainly qualified to be the head coach, which is why he was shortlisted in the first place and then he was interviewed by a panel of five.”
Sammy’s leadership skills, both as a captain and coach, were central to St Lucia Kings’ recent success in the CPL. In 2020, he beat the odds and captained an unfancied Kings side to the CPL final despite Chris Gayle pulling out of the season.
That final was Sammy’s last game in the CPL as a player. In CPL 2021, he was appointed Kings’ T20 cricket consultant and brand ambassador. He worked with coach Andy Flower as part of the backroom staff. Last year, Sammy took over from Flower as head coach and led them to the Eliminator, where Kings lost to eventual champions Tallawahs. Fast bowler Alzarri Joseph, allrounder Roston Chase and wicketkeeperbatter Johnson Charles were among the players who flourished under Sammy’s leadership at Kings.
At the PSL, Sammy had coached Peshawar Zalmi in 2020 and 2021 before being reappointed to the post for PSL 2023. Sammy had been a mainstay for the franchise since PSL’s inception in 2016, and had been one of the more recognisable overseas faces for the league. As for Coley, his first assignment will be the two-match home Test series against India in July. “I am looking forward to the challenges ahead, as well as the opportunities as we sharpen our
focus on moving up the Test rankings, and qualifying for the World Test Championship final in June 2025,” Coley said. “I also look forward to working with all our stakeholders,
deepening relationships and fostering a high-performance mindset.
“I am also excited to be working closely with the ‘A’ team as we seek to optimise opportunities for teams to play competitive cricket outside of our first-class competition and giving players greater exposure to different conditions at the international level. I believe that my expertise in the use of analytics, my leadership style and technical knowledge along with collaborative efforts alongside Daren, will make a positive contribution to player development and team performances.”