Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchise Peshawar Zalmi has named Darren Sammy as their head coach with immediate effect for the next two years. Sammy, who has led Zalmi in the last couple of seasons, will take over from Mohammad Akram as the new head coach of Zalmi. Meanwhile, fast bowler Wahab Riaz, who had led the side for a couple of games, will replace Sammy as the full-time captain.
Darren Sammy was dropped from the playing XI in the ongoing season owing to poor form and fitness. Sammy, who has been playing for the side since the first edition of the PSL in 2015-16, has scored just 44 runs and picked up one wicket during the course of the season. Peshawar Zalmi have also struggled this season, with just two wins in six matches so far.
However, Mohammad Akram, who will now serve as the director of the side, didn't rule out Darren Sammy turning out as a player in the ongoing season. However, he went onto clarify that Sammy's first role is that of a head coach but he can play if in a good rhythm.
"Daren is very close to my heart, and the Zalmi family's heart," Akram noted. "It took a little persuading to come to this decision. Daren will be the new head coach of Peshawar Zalmi starting today for the next two years. His contract is already as a playing coach, so if the committee feels he's in the form to play, he can take the field as well. But from today, he is head coach first," he added.
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Meanwhile, Darren Sammy, under whom lifted the coveted PSL trophy in 2017 expressed that it was a difficult decision to make. However, the Caribbean-born cricketer is keen to do what's necessary and best for the team. Sammy's first job will be to bring Peshawar Zalmi back into track who are already lagging behind with four defeats from six matches.
As a player, it's always difficult to make the transition. Like Akram said, we are a family, and throughout the years of playing and leading this franchise, we have shown it's not just a cricket team but a family. The truth is the last two years I've played not fully fit. This year, I feel I'm ready to go, but if there's one thing that made Peshawar Zalmi what it is, my message is to do what's necessary, what's best for the team. As a leader, I feel I've demonstrated that," Sammy stated.