The West Indies Cricket Board today hit back at captain Darren Sammy over his scathing attack on it after the team’s World Twenty20 victory last night but offered to talk to the players on how to resolve the long-standing pay dispute.
Sammy gave vent to the team’s frustration with its administrators stating that lack of support from the Board has been disappointing after the team’s second World T20 title triumph, beating England by four wickets.
Hours after this, WICB issued a statement headlined ‘WICB President has high praises for World Twenty20 Organisers’ in which it termed Sammy’s comments “inappropriate”.
WICB President Dave Cameron ignored the grievances expressed by Sammy on the issue of lack of support to players but apologised to the organisers for the captain’s outburst before a capacity crowd at the Eden Gardens.
“The President would like to however apologise for what could be deemed inappropriate, comments made by the West Indies’ male captain, Darren Sammy in a post-match interview and would like to apologise on behalf of the WICB, to the millions of fans who witnessed (sic), “ Cameron said in the statement.
“The President has pledged to enquire the reason and will have the matter addressed,” the statement said. Sammy’s emotional outburst targetted not just the Board but also the critics of the team.
“We needed silverware in the Caribbean in 2012 and yes nobody gave us a chance back then. This one with all that happened before the tournament the disrespect from journalists and from our own cricket board that was out of order. The only way we could make statement is by winning this tournament,” Sammy told reporters at the post-match presentation.
“When you see those 15 men out there play now, that’s what we could talk about. It is solely dedicated to the people and fans all over the world,” he added.
“...I’m yet to hear from our own cricket board. That is very disappointing.”
Besides the senior men’s team, West Indies also won the Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh in February this year and the women’s team clinched its maiden World T20 title earlier yesterday.
Cameron also sent out a conciliatory message to the players by inviting them for a meeting in June to discuss the long-pending pay dispute which is at the heart of the current bitterness.
Cameron said the board will speak to players to ensure that best talent in the Caribbean represents the island nations.
“Coming up in May this year, the Board will host its annual review (retreat) with the players, WIPA, selectors and the technical team to review player, management and technical plans.
“We want to see how we can find common ground in ensuring that the best players in the region are available for selection for West Indies teams,” Cameron said.
Such is the enormity of the dispute that West Indies were on the verge of sending a second-string team after most of the top players refused to sign contracts, demanding better pay.