Sammy Hails Kamran Akmal As A ‘Match-Winner’
Sharjah: Peshawar Zalmi skipper and twice-World T20 winning captain Darren Sammy has termed Kamran Akmal a match-winner after the out-of-favour wicket-keeper scored a brilliant century to guide his side into the playoffs of the third edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL).
Speaking to media after the match, the West Indian star, who is also one of the most favourite non-Pakistani cricketers in Pakistan, said that he has always been a fan of Kamran Akmal.
“Look, I have always been a fan of Kamran. You know, I think a few years back when Misbah played for St Lucia Zouks, where I was captain, I have always admired him (Misbah) as a captain and he would always say that one thing that Imran Khan had told him was ‘you never drop your match winners’ and I see Kamran Akmal as a match winner in any team he plays,” said Sammy.
“When you have guys who take risks at the top, perform, and on any given day win you matches all by themselves… I trust in his ability. Out of ten games, he has won me three, by himself, so he is a class act and hopefully his injury is not serious because we still need him in the games to come,” he added.
The former West Indian captain said that in any sport, an athlete needs to perform in order to earn selectors’ nod.
“If you are performing then you are in the selectors’ eyes and that’s all Kami has to do and the focus now for him is Peshawar and to win us matches.”
Sammy, who led Peshawar Zalmi to PSL title last year, said that his side would have qualified earlier but suffered some injury blows, which halted their momentum.
“Ideally, we would have loved to qualify before the last two games. Look, when we started the tournament we were dealt with two major blows, Shakib Al Hasan and Dwayne Bravo,” he pointed out.
“I must commend the guys in the squad. The way we played showed our character, Hasan also came in the fifth or sixth game, we played with so many injuries but that’s not an excuse and we have peaked at the right time, so far we have taken the first step by getting into the playoffs.”
Sammy added that as a captain, he tries to set an example for youngsters to guide them to become best at what they are, and it pleases him when he sees youngsters learning from him. “I am at the stage where, if I could guide youngsters to become themselves and try to put my team where they could be better, you know, look, Kami played on one leg. It’s something he saw his captain do before,” he said.
“My job is to nurture talent. I am 34 years old, so it’s not about me, at the end of the day when my team needs me to perform so as a leader, as a batsman under pressure, not every game it could happen but that’s why cricket is a team sport and everybody has to contribute.”