‘I want the boys to remember that feeling of being on top of the world’

There's nothing in the demeanour of Darren Sammy that shouts out captain. For a major part of his two-year reign, he has dealt with detractors questioning his competence to be leader, so much so that he had seriously considered giving it all up and becoming a pastor. But after leading the West Indies to its first World Cup crown in 33 years, the God-fearing St Lucian tells Bharat Sundaresan just what kickstarting the Caribbean side's resurgence means to him. And his people

How was it coming home to your beloved St Lucia as a World Cup winning captain?

My most memorable moment! There was a buzz in the air from the time we stuck our heads out from the British Airways flight. The entire nation seemed to be out there. The Prime Minister was there along with all other government ministers. Johnson (Charles) and I were overwhelmed by the love of the St Lucian people. We felt the love from the Sri Lankans too, and from the entire Caribbean on return. But only when we touched down in St Lucia did the enormity sink in.

Just how much, if at all, has this World Cup lifted the morale of West Indian cricket?

This World Cup means a lot to the entire Caribbean, especially after everything the team has gone through over the last decade. The fans have been craving for a major success. One Team, One People, One Goal was our motto. We have developed this amazing never-say-die attitude over the last two years. We got past the group stage without a single victory and then had to go through a tense Super Over against New Zealand. Then we brought our A-game to the table against Australia. At one stage in the final, we were down and out but our fightback with Marlon (Samuels) & Co was just phenomenal. It showed how much we have matured. We no longer wanted to compete against the best in the world. We wanted to beat them. To answer your question, the world loves to see the West Indies win. We are still just taking baby steps towards regaining our past glory. No team brings the kind of flair that we do.

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