Mon | Oct 2, 2023

Charles backs Sammy to make positive impact

Published:Friday | June 9, 2023 | 1:00 AM

SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates (CMC):

Johnson Charles has praised Darren Sammy’s inspirational leadership and believes he will prove a positive impact on the entire white-ball squad.

Sammy, a two-time T20 World Cup-winning captain, was last month appointed head coach of the One-Day International and T20 squads, and began his tenure with a series win over United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Tuesday.

Charles, who played in both the 2012 and 2016 T20 World Cup finals under Sammy, said his fellow St Lucian’s presence was always influential.

“Not just mine (performance), it has a positive impact on everybody’s performance because he’s an inspirational leader,” Charles said here after scoring a Man-of-the-Match 63, to fire West Indies to a 78-run victory over UAE in the second ODI here Tuesday.

“So I think that positiveness will definitely run down on the other guys and it will push us to bring out our best.”

He added: “Positiveness is definitely up there as number one [among Sammy’s qualities, along with] inspirational. These are the two main things about his coaching I could highlight right now.”

West Indies won the opening ODI by seven wickets last Sunday and returned to take the series with another convincing win, to take a 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

With the Caribbean side ranked seventh in the ICC charts and UAE languishing at 19th, the series was anticipated to be a lopsided affair, but Charles said it was critical West Indies took all their opposition seriously.

“People can say what they want and people make their judgements. It’s fair enough,” the 34-year-old said.

“But we’ve learnt that you never take any opposition for granted so in saying that, it’s very nice we came out with a series win – two out of two so far.

“I find that the team is gelling very well. We have been playing as a unit, we have been playing to our strengths and working on that, and how we want to play in the World Cup qualifiers and going forward.

“I think that we’ve played well, we’ve definitely not taken them for granted so that’s a good thing.”

West Indies contest the World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe later this month.