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Sammy in all-rounder bid for champions trophy

West Indies young vice-captain Darren Sammy is ready to put up solid all-round performance to take his team through to the semi-finals and hopefully the finals of the ICC Champions Trophy

Sammy in all-rounder bid for champions trophy - Cricket News
Darren Sammy
Source: AFP/Getty Images
West Indies young vice-captain Darren Sammy is ready to put up solid all-round performance to take his team through to the semi-finals and hopefully the finals of the ICC Champions Trophy. 

The West Indies won the tournament in England in 2004 and then reached the final two years later in India where it lost to Australia. The 25-year-old from St Lucia believes the role of an all-rounder is crucial for the one-day format and that South Africa is the side with the biggest advantage in the tournament.

Why do you enjoy playing one-day cricket?

I enjoy all forms of cricket be it a Test match, Twenty20 or 50-over cricket. The ICC Champions Trophy is a very prestigious event and provides the opportunity for the top eight sides in the world to go out and compete at the highest level. 

The Champions Trophy is another opportunity for me to push my talent and bring all my passion for the game for everyone to see on the world stage.

How important do you think the role of an all-rounder is in this particular format?

I think it's a plus for any team having a couple of all-rounders in its side, someone who can do both - bat and bowl. It gives you more options as a side to have someone who can play in either role. 

The 50-over format fits my style of the game and gives extra balance to the team. If you have an all-rounder in the side, it gives you the option playing an extra batsman or an extra bowler. 

We've seen it work really well for the likes of Jacques Kallis for South Africa and Dwayne Bravo and myself for the West Indies. 

There are few all-rounders on the world stage and I think it is very important that they play in 50-over format. It really helps to balance a team out. 

Who do you think will be the toughest teams to beat?

I think South Africa, being the hosts, will be the most familiar of teams with the conditions but I think with all the cricket being played around the world it means everyone is capable of playing anywhere these days. 

I think with so many of the players involved in the ICC Champions Trophy having played in the IPL in South Africa, they will also have as good a knowledge of conditions as the South African players. 

South Africa is the highest-ranked one-day side and it is a tough competitor. But like I said, the team that plays well on that particular day will emerge winner. 

I remember in the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2003, South Africa didn't do well on its home turf and was eliminated in the first round. So it really is a matter of who comes out and executes its plans properly. 

Who are the toughest competitors in the event? 

All the teams are very competitive. Australia is competitive with the likes of (Ricky) Ponting and (Mike) Hussey, New Zealand has McCullum, South Africa has a few with Jacques Kallis and then there is the whole West Indies side to watch too. I think it's important that everyone comes out playing their best cricket so that it's a successful event for everyone and the ICC. 

This year is about the West Indies going all the way again. We were in the finals in 2006 and we won the tournament in 2004, so it's time we claim victory again. 

What's the West Indies mantra for this competition?

It's about both competing and winning. We will have our plans and goals and one of our main goals will be to reach at least the final four. We have to take it one game at a time and hopefully execute properly. It's important we compete at the highest level, it's important we show we deserve to be up there. Coming to South Africa and doing well in the ICC Champions Trophy would be a huge step in that direction.

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