Sports Health & Fitness

The Man Who Brought Cricket Back to Pakistan: The Daren Sammy Story

Cricket in Pakistan is more than just a sport; to Pakistanis, cricket is a religion. So when disaster struck in one of history’s greatest cricketing tragedies, the country was devastated. In the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in March 2009, no players were killed due to the heroics of their bus driver but seven precious lives were lost and 20 people were injured. That was also the day international cricket left Pakistan.

On the other side of the world, while playing home games in England’s tour of the West Indies 2008/09, Daren Sammy could not have imagined the role he would play in bringing international cricket back to Pakistan. Little could he have known that he would be nominated as an honorary citizen of Pakistan nor could he have imagined that he would be conferred the country’s highest civilian award.

Daren Julius Garvey Sammy debuted for the West Indies in the 2004 NatWest Series in New Zealand in a match which was ultimately abandoned after the toss. Over the following years he would become a regular fixture in the country’s ODI squad and later in their T20 squad following the introduction of the third format.

Sammy joined Peshawar Zalmi in the first edition of the Pakistan Super League in 2016 which took place in the UAE where he scored 140 runs and took 4 wickets over a span of 10 matches. The crowds loved his aggressive style with most of his runs coming from fours and sixes. During this season, he also expressed deep empathy with the Pakistani people and expressed an interest in playing cricket in Pakistan. As per cricinfo, in a media conference during the PSL 2016 season, he said:

“We as cricketers get to play in front of our home fans and that is something Pakistan have not had, an opportunity to play in front of their own people for a while. It is sad, but hopefully things could get resolved and every territory could get a chance of playing cricket before their own crowd.”

That was the beginning of Sammy’s love affair with Pakistani cricket fans. From PSL 2017 onwards, he was made captain of Peshawar Zalmi and led them to a smashing victory in the PSL final which was also the first PSL match to ever be played on Pakistani soil. Along with his leadership, his charisma and social media activity appealed to fans across the country. This final is where his love affair with Pakistan truly emerged.

Over the years, he has captured hearts in Pakistan through his love for Pakistani culture

His social work,

And the knowledge that he always has their back!

His respect for Pakistan’s great founder,

His love for Pakistani people,

Daren Sammy shows appreciation for bringing cricket back in Pakistan at Airport | Ticketwala.pk

Sammy’s dedication to the revival of international cricket in Pakistan continued when he joined a World XI team who visited Pakistan for the Independence Cup in Lahore in September 2017. Further, he played an instrumental role in assuring other foreign players of the safety measures he had experienced to convince them to join. Since then, Sammy has continued spreading the message that Pakistan is once again safe for cricket.

More importantly, Sammy has been an ambassador of Pakistani cricket and has used his social media reach and his influence within the global cricketing community to promote the notion that Pakistan is an enjoyable and safe place to play cricket. In 2017, he along with 4 other foreign teammates agreed to play the final in Lahore despite the unwillingness of foreign players from the other finalist, Quetta Gladiators. This was also despite a Federation of International Cricketers Association (FICA) warning for players to avoid travelling to Lahore.

Cricket in Pakistan | Posters By Cricket Fans of Pakistan | Ticketwala.pk

The PSL 5 is the first major international cricketing league to be hosted on Pakistani soil since the tragedy which struck back in 2009. Sammy’s role in convincing cricketers from across the globe and the broader international community of Pakistan’s improved security is undeniable. On March 23rd, he will be recognized for his crucial role in bringing cricket back to Pakistan when he will be conferred with honorary Pakistani citizenship and Pakistan’s highest civilian award, the Nishan-e-Pakistan.

The Ticket Wala team began this company with a vision to promote Pakistan’s event industry and engage people with exciting and unique activities. For his promotion of cricket, our most beloved activity, our team offers its heartfelt thanks to Daren Sammy.

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