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THORNY ISSUE: Dottin, Sammy seize spotlight


ANDI THORNHILL

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VERY OFTEN, the  world stage throws up individuals who rise  to the challenge and others who falter.             I think it would be true to say that the West Indies have seen the emergence of two players in the ICC World Twenty20 tournament who have flourished in the spotlight.       Surely, the most outstanding individual performance in the tournament has been registered by 18 year-old Barbadian all-rounder Deandra Dottin. Her swashbuckling, historic century against South Africa was stunning and announced her as a player with a considerable amount of ability.           The manner of her demolition of the South African attack was in the vein you would associate with the likes of a Chris Gayle, a Virender Sehwag or an Adam Gilchrist.This is esteemed company, you would reason, but the statistical brutality of her knock vindicates the comparison. Her 112 came from a mere 45 balls, the last 50 off 13 deliveries, a grand  total of nine sixes  and seven fours.      This was an innings  of authority and one that would give Dottin  and by extension her team a psychological advantage when she goes  to the crease against  the opposition.Actually, I believe she  is saving another special delivery for the semi-finals and, hopefully, the final.I know she has received accolades from various quarters but I still think that the local authorities should make it a point  to do something  special for her. This is where the talent was harnessed with the help of coaches like Richard Clarke, Alfred Campbell and Sherwin Campbell. The onus is on us to highlight and reward her remarkable feat. I remember Dottin as a very shy but determined field athlete with good skill in the discus, shot put and javelin. She was good enough to medal at the CARIFTA Games. She is now poised  to make her mark  in world cricket.And on the men’s end, have you noticed the pep in the step of Darren Sammy?  The St Lucian  all-rounder is revelling  in the World Twenty20 atmosphere. Two Man Of The Match awards in the preliminary rounds sent the media seeking him out for interviews and he has been up to the task. His words are measured and he has humbly deflected the attention away from himself to the team effort. His contribution to the West Indies’ vital victory over India shouldn’t be underestimated, as he was very visible in motivating the players in the field  on Sunday.Should he continue to get the selectors’ nod in all forms of the game, could he be a serious contender for the leadership in time to come? Made to live in the shadows of other regional all-rounders in the past, Sammy has always been an honest, committed player who gives his all  on every occasion. What more can you ask especially at a time when the work ethic of some of his colleagues is questioned?      The Sammy model, if emulated, can be the path for the revival we need in West Indies cricket. It is that plain for the world to see.• Andi Thornhill is sports editor at the Caribbean Brodcasting Corporation. He can  be reached at [email protected]

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