Mumbai: West Indies skipper Darren Sammy on Saturday said while cricket will immensely miss Sachin Tendulkar, it is good news for the opponents who will not have to live with the fear of taking on the modern day`s greatest batsman on a cricket field anymore.
"What he brought to the cricket fraternity is incredibly the best. Legends come and legends go, but cricket will surely miss Sachin...Not only in India. I don`t know how the dressing room of India would be when it is next Test match and Sachin is not in the XI.
"Opponents would be happy that they are not competing against Sachin. Cricket would surely miss the ambassador," said Sammy at the end of the two-Test series, that India won 2-0.
Tendulkar retired from international cricket today after playing his 200th Test match and Sammy said there would be more than one thing that the cricketing fraternity would miss about the iconic batsman.
"You can`t just miss one thing. Tendulkar is the all-round person. All-round cricketer, ultimate sportsman. What he has done for the sport over the last 24 years, you know as an opponent, when you hear of Sachin your shoulders tend to drop. As a teammate probably you would be so happy to be in the same team as him. World cricket, no matter which team you support, whenever Sachin is playing you have got to watch," he said.
Sammy, who took Tendulkar`s catch at first slip to dismiss him for one last time in international cricket, said West Indies players have the utmost respect for him.
"When he came onto bat, we gave him the guard of honour. I think I took a brilliant catch to dismiss him but there was no emotion shown. That is the level of respect I have for the man. I gave no emotion because probably that was the last time the world saw him bat. We have utmost respect for Sachin. We respect what he has done for the game," said Sammy, who was five years old when Tendulkar started playing.
Sammy also praised the Indian fans for paying rich tributes to Tendulkar.
"He is a special man but the way fans have treated him made it more special. I don`t think any other athlete in any sport has got this type of admiration from his or her followers. India has set a benchmark as how you support your own son of the soil.
"Many cricketers have come and gone but Sachin is one who will never be forgotten. Kids who are probably not born yet will grow up in and know about Sachin Tendulkar. That is the legacy he has left behind," said Sammy.
The skipper, meanwhile, expressed disappointment with his own leadership skills.
"Myself as a captain, I have not at all led from the front in this series. We deserve all the criticism and all the comments that are being thrown at us," Sammy admitted.
Speaking on taking positives out of this series, Sammy said, "We were quite happy coming here. We are happy to play Test cricket. Getting two Test matches against a good opposition was a wonderful opportunity for us as cricket team and for us to measure how far we are in world cricket.
"We won six Test matches against teams we are ranked higher than. So now we are playing teams that are ranked higher than us and it was an opportunity to showcase what we have. What we have displayed over the last two Test matches or rather the last six days, we are much better than that."
The 29-year-old said this series was a reality check for his team.
"It is very disappointing. We never turned up in the series. We came here on the back of six Test victories against Bangladesh, New Zealand and Zimbabwe. Coming here really taught us a lesson and exposed us. It told us how far we are behind the top four teams in the world.
"I personally have been very disappointed not just for me, but for the team. It is a good lesson for us as we go to New Zealand where we play our next Test series," he said.
The St. Lucian player said they would look to restore some pride in the one-day series.
"It is only up to us now to pick ourselves up. We have the one-day series coming up. New leadership. Dwayne Bravo and the one-day guys are coming here and we are looking to restore some pride."