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Simmons backs new WI skipper
T&T batsman Lendl Simmons has thrown his support behind recently appointed West Indies captain Denesh Ramdin.
Simmons, who is currently plying his trade in the Indian Premier League, said yesterday the move to appoint Ramdin at this moment is the correct one.
Ramdin has replaced St Lucian Darren Sammy who served as leader of the regional side for the last four years. With the West Indies team languishing in position number eight in Tests, the selectors saw it fit to change the leadership and install the wicketkeeper/ batsman in charge.
Simmons, who has played with Ramdin all of his career at the T&T level, as well as West Indies level has confidence in his new captain. Simmons also played with Ramdin at Clico Preysal Sports club in the domestic league in T&T.
According to the right handed Simmons: “I have been playing with Denesh since Under-15 cricket and he has always demonstrated that he has what it takes to be a leader.”
Simmons was a part of the West Indies Under-15 team in which Ramdin was a member. That team, led by T&T’s Tishan Maraj, won the title with victory over Pakistan in the final at Lord’s.
Simmons continued: “Denesh has always been someone full of confidence and determination to do well. This has rubbed off on the teams he has captained and the results can show that.”
There has been talk around the region that Ramdin is yet to prove himself when under pressure but the Mumbai Indians player thinks otherwise: “Denesh has shown his best under pressure. He gives you the impression that he can come out of any fight on top and this is what you need from your leader.
“He has captained me in all formats of the game and has been successful and has what it takes to lead our West Indies team at this point in time. I’m sure it’s a challenge he would welcome and he has the respect of all the players, so I know he would serve West Indies proud.”
Ramdin’s first assignment will be against the touring New Zealanders with the first Test in Jamaica on June 8. This match will also mark the 100th Test appearance for the Jamaican hero Chris Gayle.
The Jamaican authorities have been planning massive celebrations and Ramdin will be looking to do his part in leading the team to victory, all in an effort to make the celebrations much sweeter for the people of Jamaica.