Sammy excited by Zouks’ depth
CASTRIES, St Lucia (CMC):
West Indies ICC World T20 winning captain Darren Sammy is confident Zouks can advance to the play-offs of the highly anticipated Caribbean Premier League (CPL), which begins next week.
Zouks' campaign is expected to be powered by the presence of a number of the world's leading players, including Mike Hussey, David Miller, Morne Morkel and Shane Watson.
West Indies T20 and ODI openers Johnson Charles and AndrÈ Fletcher are also expected to feature prominently in their effort this year.
"'Mr Cricket' Mike Hussey
will add a lot of international experience coming off winning the Big Bash last year. David Miller has been a strong performer for South Africa, and in the all-round stakes, Shane Watson has been in outstanding form of late," said Sammy.
"On the bowling front, we are excited to have Morne Morkel, and Fidel Edwards will add to our depth alongside some exciting local talent in Gidron Pope and Keddy Lesporis. I'm excited. After missing out to the (Jamaica) Tallawahs narrowly on net run rate last year, I think this could be the year when we reach the play-offs."
Sammy is also excited about the opportunities that will see the CPL make its inaugural foray into the mainland of USA when the Central Broward Stadium in Fort Lauderdale welcomes all six teams from July 28-31.
"It will be a huge honour to lead out the Zouks in the USA because there's a massive Caribbean community around there. I know there has been huge interest in tickets already, and it will be a chance for people to experience the carnival atmosphere live," he said.
"Hopefully, we'll have bumper crowds there for our back-to-back games when we battle against the Tallawahs. I think what CPL is doing by bringing professional cricket to the USA can help lift barriers and extend the carnival from the Caribbean."
Sammy hopes that the performances can inspire a new generation of players.
"It has been amazing to travel around the various islands over the past few weeks and see the joy on the kids' faces," he said.
"We always talk in the dressing room about creating a new legacy for West Indies cricket, and if a child dreams of becoming the next (Kieron) Pollard, (Dwayne) Bravo, (Chris) Gayle or (AndrÈ) Russell, then we know that we'll be on the right track."