After Farhad Reza had scored the winning runs that put Rajshahi Kings in the BPL’s second qualifier, everyone waited for their celebration. Would they pretend to take a group selfie or pose for the imaginary group photo?
Darren Sammy, whose unbeaten 55 off 27 brought them back from the brink of elimination, motioned to the rest of the Rajshahi players – who had joyously ran into the middle from the dugout – to take his photos as he posed like a bodybuilder. Farhad couldn’t contain his laughter standing next to Sammy, like the rest of the stadium.
Sammy doesn’t exactly claim ownership of the Shere Bangla National Stadium like Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal or Mashrafe Mortaza but ever since he hit a 13-ball 34 against Australia two years ago, he has had a special connection with Mirpur.
“Every time I play at the stadium, that’s the first game I remember,” Sammy said. “Even when we played against Khulna the other day, it flashed back in my mind. I am enjoying my cricket right now. Wherever I go I try to give my best.”
Sammy said it was James Franklin’s quick pep-talk, when he was dismissed in the 11th over, that spurred him to take the Chittagong attack on.
“I am a big admirer of Dhoni. If you bat out and take the game as close as possible, you give yourself a better chance of winning. But today after Franklin got out, he told me to free up myself and enjoy. ‘Go for it’, he said. It probably changed my mindset to a positive one and I just took the attack back to them,” Sammy said.
Sammy praised Kesrick Williams, Mehedi Hasan and Farhad Reza for their contributions to the win. “It was good to respond by putting the pressure back on them. Myself, [Mehedi Hasan] Miraz and Farhad brought it home which was what the team required.
“It’s good to see young guys like Kesrick coming through. It was a tough situation to leave Sami out but it was good to see the way the young man responded,” he said.
Sammy however wasn’t happy with his side’s batting which has repeatedly collapsed through the season. “I believe we haven’t played our best game. We keep on collapsing at the top, yet we are one game away from the finals. I keep on stressing the need for improvement and for responsible batting. Whoever we play tomorrow, hopefully we can execute with our bat better,” he said.
And what about the pretend selfies? Sammy said they hoped to bring their off-field activities into their on-field celebrations, which he felt brought the team together.
“We just like to take photos. You check all the guys’ Instagram pages, they are always posting photos, so why not bring it into the cricket? When you play well it brings out the celebration,” Sammy said. “You continue to play as a team. You gel well. When you gel well like that you create an environment that will breed success. We had that team spirit. We did well to restrict them and considering we were under the pump, just imagine how it feels like when you take the final selfies.” (ESPNCricinfo)
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent.