‘[There] will be a lot of excitement and celebration but at the end of the day it’s a competition between West Indies and India’, says Darren Sammy

Image courtesy of: Hindustan Times

“The newspapers this morning have made me [public] enemy no 1”

West Indies captain Darren Sammy has acknowledged the historical significance of the upcoming Test series against India, but noted that “at the end of the day it’s a competition between West Indies and India”.

Sammy also noted that the West Indies would not solely focus their attention on Sachin Tendulkar, who will be playing his 200th and final Test match in his hometown of Mumbai, but on the entire Indian team as all of them pose a major threat as well.

“Sachin is an amazing cricketer,” Sammy said. “If not only best cricketer to have played the game but what he has done over the last 24 years is a testimony to his character and person himself.

“We are happy to be here. But we are here to play Test cricket. We have our own goals to achieve. It will be a lot of excitement and celebration but at the end of the day it’s a competition between West Indies and India.”

The West Indies’ plans to restrict Tendulkar from scoring runs and spoil his final Test match have made headlines in the media, but Sammy defended his team’s ideology, stating that the “Indians would not be giving us any freebies so why should we”.

“The newspapers this morning have made me [public] enemy no 1 after putting that as the headline,” Sammy said. “We all respect Sachin but just because it’s his last Test we would not give him a hundred.

“If he goes out in the first ball, it’s be good for us. I know we would play two tough Tests. Indians would not be giving us any freebies so why should we.”

Sammy also revealed that the West Indies would give Tendulkar a “guard of honour” during his last Test in Mumbai.

“We will definitely give him an guard of honour,” Sammy said. “He has earned that respect over the years. We as a team we have a lot of respect for him. He has been an ambassador for the game. We want to give Sachin the respect that is due to him.”

Reminiscing about when he first met Tendulkar, Sammy said: “It was back in 2003-04…I was at the MCC v Rest of the World Tsunami match. I met him at the Lord’s. It was an honour for me.

“To come close to him is a massive honour…He has carried the weight of India for over two decades and yet he has remained humble. He has done phenomenal. Yes, it would be good a series for us to play here in his final two Tests.”

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