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Daren Sammy named head coach-cum-player; Wahab Riaz to lead Peshawar Zalmi
Pakistan Super League 2020

Daren Sammy named head coach-cum-player; Wahab Riaz to lead Peshawar Zalmi

Daren Sammy has been named as the head coach of Peshawar Zalmi, it was announced by the franchise on Thursday.

Sammy will continue to play for Zalmi in the current season but he has been relieved of captaincy duties. Wahab Riaz has been appointed the full-time skipper in his place.

The Zalmi stalwart takes over the coaching services from Mohammad Akram, who will continue as the side's director of cricket while also taking on the role of bowling coach.

"Daren is very close to my heart, and the Zalmi family's heart," Akram was quoted as saying in the press conference.

"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."

Sammy has been with the Zalmi since the inception of the league and was handed the leadership baton when Shahid Afridi stepped down from the position.

He has acquired tremendous popularity in Pakistan given his association with the T20 league and is credited with playing a pivotal role in the revival of international cricket in the country.

Sammy's performances for the Zalmi have dipped recently as he has been unable to conjure a significant contribution thus far in the tournament. With a sum of just 44 runs and a solitary wicket this season, Sammy was left out of the Zalmi line-up to make way for fellow West Indian Carlos Brathwaite in the clash against Karachi Kings.

"As a player, it's always difficult to make the transition," Sammy noted.

"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," he added.

Sammy has missed only four games for Peshawar across the competition's history, with the latest fixture being the encounter against Quetta Gladiators in Rawalpindi.

Wahab kicked off his full-time leadership stint on a successful note by triumphing over the Gladiators by 30 runs.