Dubai: Dance your way to success. That is the path that Peshawar Zalmi skipper Darren Sammy followed in the Pakistan Super League. He eases the pressure on every player with his jovial approach on and off the field and at the same time makes sure that his players give their best. No wonder he captained West Indies to two ICC T20 World Cup triumphs.
After beating Karachi Kings to qualify for the third edition of the PSL final on Sunday against Islamabad in Karachi, Sammy along with his teammate Andre Fletcher, danced to the tune of Caribbean music.
Sammy has won the hearts of many Pakistan fans through his comments on the joy of playing in their country. Last year he even wore their traditional pagri (turban) and even danced to traditional Pakistan music with his teammates.
Interestingly, he has won the hearts of even Islamabad team fans too. After beating Karachi in Lahore, he announced: “Karachi we are coming. I want you all to come and support Peshawar Zalmi.” Sammy even has asked all the fans to wear their yellow coloured team jersey. “I want everybody to wear yellow shirt. It’s a yellow storm.”
Sammy makes sure that every cricketer likes him too. As soon as he heard that Peshawar team mentor Younis Khan had a baby boy last week, Sami through a video message dedicated the win in Sharjah over Lahore Qalandars to Khan. Even on flights he entertains everyone with his jokes.
Interestingly, during the launch of the PSL trophy at the Dubai International stadium before the start of the third edition, Gulf News got a picture of Sammy and Misbah-ul-Haq posing on either side of the trophy as if it was pre-decided that they will be the finalists. When asked Sammy on what is the message for his fans before the final, he told reporters “My message is that I want to see this (yellow) colour in the stadium. We will defend the title. We want to win in Karachi.”
Peshawar team owner Javed Afridi too attributes his team’s success to Sammy’s leadership traits. “Darren’s leadership has played a big role and is very important for us. He and the team has won the hearts of Pakistanis. The support we received in Lahore was tremendous and all credit goes to Sammy for it,” remarked Afridi.
Pakistan fans love him as everyone knows that he was the first foreign player who agreed to travel to Pakistan and also urged his teammates to follow him. Sammy swelled the number of his fans after the March 1 match in Sharjah against Quetta when he, despite limping in pain due to a knee injury, hit sixes and won the match for his team.
Commenting on his injury, which he is carrying to the final too, he said: “It’s been tough (the injuries). Credit must go to the medical team. One more game and I’ve got three months off, so I can do my rehab.” Probably with the joy of having defended the PSL title again.