West Indies all the way – it’s no brainer for me: Darren Sammy on T20 World Cup

By PTI

DUBAI: Reigning champions West Indies will go all the way in the upcoming T20 World Cup, reckons former skipper Darren Sammy taking into the consideration their ability to adjust quickly to the conditions in this format.

The West Indies won the title the last time the tournament was held, in 2016 in India, beating England in a dramatic final following Carlos Brathwaite’s stunning four sixes in the last over.

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“It’s a no brainer for me — West Indies all the way,” said Sammy in an ICC Digital Show.

He added, “When you look at West Indies, and people might say I’m sounding biased, but in the last four (three) tournaments we’ve managed to get to the final four, winning two out of that.”

“Our players, the calibre of players we have — when you look at captain Pollard, he’s back, the Universe Boss Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Jason Holder, Fabian Allen, Evin Lewis, I could go on a long list of guys who can just take the attack to you.”

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The West Indies won the title in 2012 and 2016 and, on both occasions, Sammy was the captain.

The 37-year-old was of the view that teams such as England and Australia, still seeking a World T20 title triumph, might do well in the tournament, which will be hosted in the UAE and Oman.

“When you look at England, who have been playing some excellent T20 cricket — finalists in the last one (Men’s T20 World Cup) in 2016, they won it in the Caribbean.

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“To me what that says, two venues where the pitches are similar — India and the Caribbean — they’ve won and they’ve got to the final, so their players adjust to the conditions quite well,” said Sammy.

He added that Australia, too, will be itching keen to go the distance.

“You look at Australia who have not gotten their hands on this silverware, they’ll be desperate to get it. The calibre of players they have — so many players who play in the IPL — who understand the conditions.”

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Sammy also believes that the hard-hitting Russell will have the most runs in the tournament.

“Someone batting in the top three should get the most runs. You speak of someone like a Virat Kohli. But getting the most runs doesn’t necessarily mean that your team wins the tournament.

“I’m more interested in who is going to be the ‘Player of the Tournament’. Somebody like an Andre Russell, who bowls and bats and comes in at crucial times, will come out with that title.”

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The men’s T20 World Cup will be held between October 17 and November 14 in Oman and the UAE.

The Super 12 stage of the showpiece event will start from October 23.

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