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Players with experience of playing in T20 leagues around the world really shone, says Daren Sammy

Melbourne : Two-time T20 World Cup winning skipper Daren Sammy on Monday said players who had the experience of playing in T20 leagues around the world were the ones who shone in the recently-concluded T20 World Cup in Australia.

While players from sides like champions England, runners-up Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, South Africa and Sri Lanka take part in T20 leagues around the world, Indian cricketers are not allowed to play in overseas T20 leagues, including the Big Bash League (BBL) in Australia.

“I think the other thing this tournament has shown us is that while the teams are definitely getting closer, the players with experience of playing in T20 leagues around the world really shone.”

“You look at India, who have the biggest T20 league, but their players do not have the experience of the guys who are playing all over the world. You look at guys like Alex Hales, and Chris Jordan, guys who play in the Big Bash. It is no coincidence that they excelled in Australia,” wrote Sammy in his column for the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Monday.

Sammy, who led West Indies to two T20 World Cup titles in 2012 and 2016, said England deserved to be the champions for their ability to adapt to every situation thrown at them during the tournament.

“England have always been able to adapt to what the situation required. Whether it was against Afghanistan in Perth, they did what they needed to get the win. Against Sri Lanka and New Zealand, they upped the tempo when necessary.”

“Then, in the final, they only needed a victory and to chase 137, and they did it. That is maturity in a batting line-up, understanding what you need to do and playing accordingly. They were the most adaptable team with bat and ball and they are worthy winners.”

“England were the most complete team at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup and they are fitting champions. They showed they were the best all-round team in all their pressure matches. Against India, in the semifinal, we saw it, against Sri Lanka when they had to win to qualify and then in the final, they were dominant.”

Sammy further felt that Pakistan were not operating in their strength areas during the final, leading to them losing by five wickets to England at the MCG. “Pakistan were always up against it when they lost the toss and batted first. That does not play to their strengths.”

“They want to bowl first, restrict the opposition and then let Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam go out and chase. We saw that they were too tentative batting first. You need to be brave in the Power-play and put teams under pressure earlier.”

“Commiserations to Pakistan though, who overcame all the odds to get to the final and they were not too far away in the end. But England won it and they deserved it,” he added.

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