Interview: Darren Sammy
POTCHESTROOM, South Africa -- 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.