GROS ISLET, St Lucia (CMC) — Darren Sammy has been sacked as captain of St Lucia Stars, paying the price for the franchise's woeful start to the Caribbean Premier League.
Stars have lost their first six matches of the campaign to be bottom of the six-team table with virtually no chance of making the playoffs.
Sammy, who has led the St Lucia franchise from its inception, has been replaced by Australian all-rounder Shane Watson.
“After six successive defeats in the 2017 season, the time is right to make a switch in leadership and incorporate some fresh thinking as the team completes this season and builds for 2018,” a franchise statement said Thursday.
“The Stars management would like to take this opportunity to thank Darren Sammy for his contribution as captain this season and throughout the last four editions of Hero CPL.”
Stars lost the curtain-raiser to current leaders Trinbago Knight Riders by nine wickets here before also going down to TKR in the return game in Port of Spain.
They then shockingly lost their remaining four home games at the Darren Sammy Cricket Ground, showing little of the form that took them to the playoffs last year.
Sammy's form has been patchy, scoring 123 runs from six innings with a highest of 60 not out but the franchise confirmed he would remain a member of the set up.
“Darren is a St Lucian icon and has been a fantastic servant of both St Lucian and West Indian cricket,” the statement continued.
“The Stars management would like to stress that Darren remains an important part of the St Lucia Stars squad and his performances with both bat and ball will be vital for the rest of the 2017 tournament and in the future.”
Indian-American businessman Jay Pandya, who purchased the franchise ahead of the new season, said while Sammy was key member of the unit there was need for change in leadership following the poor run of form.
“If it were not for Darren, St Lucian cricket would not have the standing it does in world cricket and his ability to lead both on and off the field remains unquestioned,” Pandya said.
“However, after the results that we have seen over the first half of the 2017 Hero CPL, a change is needed to freshen things up as we look to win the remaining four fixtures this season.”
Stars take on St Kitts and Nevis Patriots at Warner Park in their next match on Saturday.