West Indies tour of India 2013: Our focus is on entire team, not just Tendulkar, says Darren Sammy

Darren Sammy said it’s all about a contest between the two countries © AFP

Kolkata: Oct 30, 2013

Describing Sachin Tendulkar as the ambassador of cricket, West Indies skipper Darren Sammy on Wednesday, said their focus would be on the entire Indian team and not only on the seniormost batsman’s surprised wicket during the upcoming two-match Test series.

“Sachin is an amazing cricketer. 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,” Sammy said at their arrival media conference in Kolkata on Wednesday.

Despite all the hype that has been created around Tendulkar’s last two Tests, Sammy said it’s all about a contest between the two countries.

“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’ plan to spoil Tendulkar’s farewell series made the headlines today and Sammy said they were not here to give freebies to India.

“The newspapers this morning have made me probably the enemy no 1, after putting that as the headline. 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 said Tendulkar had earned the respect for himself as he revealed plans of a guard of honour after the Mumbai batsman plays his last Test on home soil at the Wankhede.

“We will definitely give him a guard of honour. 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.”

Recollecting his first meeting with 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,” Sammy said giving glowing tributes to Tendulkar.