Sammy all class, putting his best foot forward
Wellington Tourism won't be rushing to offer him a job, but West Indies skipper Darren Sammy could snare a few after-dinner speaking roles in this form.
A far cry from the surly image of some past West Indies touring teams, Sammy was again a class act in front of the microphones on test eve.
There's just one issue, though. He vows never to fly into Wellington again after their hellish Sunday ride from Dunedin where high winds forced the pilot to abandon one landing attempt before getting both teams down safely.
"Most of our guys were a bit terrified, but hopefully the [Basin Reserve] pitch is not as terrifying as the landing," he said.
Sammy, from St Lucia, is well accustomed to island hopping in small planes but rated the Air New Zealand flight as his scariest for some time.
"I was once on a flight like that where one of the engines broke down and that was when I developed my fear of flying. Before we went to India we went to Miami for some team bonding and I did a rollercoaster. I said 'yes, I'm over the flying issue'. I thought I was until the other day, I was screaming like my daughter.
"I'm definitely taking the bus next time. I don't mind the ferry. My wife was due to fly into that [Wellington] airport, I told her no chance so she's going to do Sydney-Auckland not Sydney-Wellington. Not a chance."
Asked about the Basin Reserve pitch, Sammy had to pause as he dissolved into giggles.
"I thought it was like the indoors [practice pitches]. I don't think any of our guys will have played on a surface so green before. Maybe those who have played league cricket in England. We'll go out there with an open mind and look to have a good game."
Sammy was surprised at how green the pitch was, and mused it wouldn't have been the case for past West Indies touring teams with their battery of fast bowlers.
"It shows how things have changed."
The captain and allrounder, who played his part in Dunedin with crucial 80 in the second innings despite a painful gluteal strain, was confident of playing a full part. And he hoped his other pacemen could use the Wellington wind to their advantage.
"I was told bowling from the pavilion end, fast bowlers will be running against the breeze so I'll back sure I'll give Tino [Best] that end and let him run in."