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West Indies to give guard of honour to Sachin Tendulkar

Kolkata: While eager to give a guard of honour to batting legend Sachin Tendulkar in the Wankhede Test, the West Indies are not focusing on the farewell man alone in the coming two-match series. The visitors would rather focus on the whole Indian team which has some exciting cricketers, says their captain Darren Sammy.

Sammy was categorical that the legendary batsman should not expect any “freebies” from the tourists during the two Test series — at Eden Gardens Nov 6-10 and Mumbai’s Wankhede stadium Nov 14-18 — that will bring the curtains down on Tendulkar’s playing career.

“Obviously his wicket is important but then he is just one of the 10 wickets that we have to take in each innings to win the game. We are not just focusing on Sachin alone.

“There are many others in the Indian team. There are some exciting cricketers like Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli,” Sammy told mediapersons here Wednesday.

Sammy also refused to read much into Tendulkar’s match-winning knock of 79 runs against Haryana in a domestic game Wednesday.

While the team has great respect for Tendulkar, Sammy said his team was concentrating on achieving its own targets.

“The Indians will not give us any freebies so why should we? Just because it is farewell series doesn’t mean we will allow him to score hundreds. At the end of the day it’s a competition and we have our own goals which we want to achieve,” he said.

Sammy also said his team will give a guard of honour to Tendulkar in his 200th game in Mumbai.

“His accomplishments are a testimony to his character. We have great respect for him and he deserves every bit of it. We will surely give a guard of honour to Sachin who is a great ambassador of the game,” Sammy said.

Sammy, who met Tendulkar for the first time in 2004, described his meetings with the man as humbling experiences.

“It has been an honour meeting him and playing against him. Despite the enormous success he has achieved over the last two decades, he continues to be humble. There is so much to learn from him,” added Sammy.

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