"He's a great ambassador for the sport. He deserves all the hype and the praises he's getting," the Windies skipper said. (Getty Images)
Kolkata: West Indies are honoured to be part of Sachin Tendulkar's farewell series but their skipper Darren Sammy said their focus would be on the entire Indian cricket team and not only on the legendary batsman's wicket during the two-match Test series beginning here Wednesday.
"We're honoured to play a series in India which will bring curtains down on Sachin's career but we're here to compete and play very hard cricket. He's a great ambassador for the sport. He deserves all the hype and the praises he's getting," Sammy said.
Despite all the frenzy that has been created around Tendulkar's last two Tests, Sammy said his team was trying to "block out" all the distractions.
"For us, we will just look to block it out. At the end of the day, we're here to play cricket. Whatever happens in the media or the opponent's dressing room, it's about us doing what we know we have to do very well and go out there and compete for five days of exciting cricket. Hope it will be," he said.
On the hype surrounding the retirement of Tendulkar, Sammy said the batting maestro had earned the respect for himself.
"That's India you know. As for Sachin, everybody knows what he's done for cricket not only in India but all over."