Сricket

The Hundred can be about equality says T20 World Cup winner Daren Sammy

Daren Sammy wants to play his part in bringing cricket to the masses by spreading a message of equality in The Hundred.

And the 37-year-old has laid down the gauntlet to the ECB right from the outset for them to walk the equality and diversity walk after lots of talk.

The former double T20 World Cup winning captain of the West Indies will be bringing his own St Lucian creole style of punditry as part of the Sky Sports commentary team for the tournament.

And he feels enthused by what the Hundred could mean, as both a sporting form of entertainment, but also as a vehicle for social inclusion and opportunity.

“I can't wait to get involved,” said Sammy, 100 days from the start of the tournament. “It is a new format with some of the best players in the world on show, it could be a game changer.

“I was here in 2003 on the MCC Young Cricketers staff and saw how the T20 format took England by storm and it forced the world to take notice. Now it can do something similar again on and off the field.

“The story behind what they are doing is very important. When you are selling a new product, you need to sell the story too and this story is about equality.

“Equal prize money for men and women, all the games are being broadcasted, they are pricing tickets so everybody can come and are targeting opportunities for the grassroots of the game to get young people involved. That is a story that can connect with people.

“For all the things that the ECB have been talking about when it comes to change and diversity, this is a fresh start where they can walk the walk after all their talk. It is about action now.”

Only last week ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said: "We remain absolutely committed in our resolve to make the game more inclusive and diverse.”

And for those watching the game's 'moment of unity' ahead of the first match at Lord's between Middlesex and Somerset on Thursday as 24 players and officials lined up on the boundary, it was easy to see where improvements could be made.

Come July and the start of this new 100-ball format, the grounds will hopefully be far busier and more vibrant, with the players and the game reflecting that excitement.

“The whole world will be listening and watching,” said Sammy. “So I have to be careful, I'm not chatting in the dressing room anymore!

“I know my accent will be different from what people are used to, but I want to bring my style to it, I can only be me so if I can bring some entertainment with it I will.

“What I can promise is insight from a captain's viewpoint. I will be talking about how I would be looking at it if I were out there, and up until very recently I was.”

Sammy joins former England stars Stuart Broad and Kevin Pietersen as pundits for the tournament, while presenters such as Kass Naidoo from South Africa and Zainab Abbas from Pakistan will add to the global feel of the coverage.

Watch The Hundred from 21 st July on Sky Sports The Hundred (404), on Sky Sports Mix and a selection of matches live on the Sky Cricket YouTube Channel.

Source: Read Full Article