"--IANS/CMC"
Castries -, May 14 - Prime Minister Kenny Anthony said many St. Lucians were shocked by countryman Darren Sammy's decision to announce his retirement from Test cricket.

Sammy called it a day in the longer format of the sport shortly after the West Indies selectors removed him after a near four-year reign as captain, reports CMC.

Selectors have replaced him with Trinidad and Tobago wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin, who will lead the West Indies in the upcoming New Zealand series.

Darren Sammy's announcement of his retirement from Test Cricket was sudden, Prime Minister Anthony said in a government release Tuesday.

While it may not have been an unexpected decision for many cricket enthusiasts, it was indeed a shock to many St. Lucians.

The St.Lucian leader praised Sammy's humility and enthusiasm as attributes which he said should be emulated.

Anthony complimented Sammy for taking on the role of the West Indies captain during a period of disarray in the regional side.

The St. Lucian all-rounder has been credited with uniting the squad and returning stability and discipline.

He brought comfort that as West Indians we can be proud of our identity, our history and our class in all endeavours, said Anthony.

He was given the most unenviable task and he never shirked, complained or shied from the responsibilities or consequences of his leadership.

Sammy led the West Indies in 30 of his 38 Tests, managing eight wins, suffering 12 losses and pulling off ten draws.

It is ironic that West Indies Test cricket has lost Darren at a time when he is the only West Indian to feature in the Reliance Top 10 Test ranking for allrounders, the prime minister pointed out.

--IANS/CMC

sr/vt


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