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Pay dispute, insults led to West Indies T20 success: Sammy

AP/Kolkata
Filed on April 4, 2016
Pay dispute, insults led to West Indies T20 success: Sammy
Darren Sammy

The West Indies Cricket Board had said it was considering sending a second-string team if the players did not agree to its terms.


The West Indies team was determined to win a second World Twenty20 title after criticism by the media and its own cricket board ahead of the tournament, captain Darren Sammy said on Sunday.

Amid a lingering pay dispute, the West Indies Cricket Board had said it was considering sending a second-string team if the players did not agree to its terms.

"All that happened before the tournament, the disrespect from journalists, from our own cricket board, that was out of order," Sammy said after West Indies beat England by six wickets in the final at Eden Gardens. "The only way we could make a statement was by winning this tournament. The hunger for success and victory was there in all of us."

Sammy also blasted a media report which claimed his players did not have enough "brains" to win at the top level.

"The so-called experts, commentators, journalists did not give us a chance. One said we play with no brains. That really brought us together with the contract issues," Sammy said.

"At one point, we were wondering if we would be part of this tournament. A lot of things were happening. To come out and play this sort of cricket in front of passionate fans was amazing."

West Indies became the first team to clinch the World Twenty20 title twice, having also won it in 2012. Marlon Samuels struck an unbeaten 85 and Carlos Brathwaite 34 not out, including four straight sixes in the last over to seal victory with two balls to spare.

Sammy said his team had taken inspiration from the success of other West Indies teams.

"This means a lot not only for us as a team but for our fans all over the world. We started the tournament by saying we were inspired by our under-19 boys (winning the World Cup) in Bangladesh (in February) and this afternoon the way our women played to win the (WT20) cup, we had to go out and win it," he said.

Sammy hoped the T20 success would trigger better performances in test cricket as well.

"We get a lot of stick because of the way we play test cricket. T20 is a totally different format. We are very good in T20 cricket," he said. "We don't play the brand of cricket that can win us tests but I hope this win can inspire our test players to do better."

Full text of Darren Sammy's powerful speech after World Twenty20 final

I want to thank the almighty, because without him nothing is possible. We have a pastor in the team in Andre Fletcher, he keeps on praying. We are a praying team. I'm really happy for this win and it's something we are going to cherish for a long time.

I've said we have 15 match-winners. Nobody gave us a chance but every game somebody stepped up and took responsibility. To see Carlos [Brathwaite] play like that in his debut World Cup, it's just tremendous. It shows the depth we have in the Caribbean in T20 cricket and hopefully with the right structure and development our cricket will continue to improve in one-day and Test cricket.

We started this journey . we all know we had . people were wondering whether we would play this tournament. We had a lot of issues, we felt disrespected by our board, Mark Nicholas described our team as a team with no brains. All these things before the tournament just brought this team together. I really want to thank these 15 men, the ability to just put all those adversities aside and to come out and play this type of cricket in front of such passionate fans, it's just tremendous.

I personally also want to thank the coaching staff, coach Phil, he's been through a lot, and to come here and the way he's coached the team, he's just brilliant. All the other coaching staff, who have done their part. We had a new manager in this tournament in Rawl Lewis, he had never managed any team before. He came here, we were at a camp in Dubai, but we had no uniforms, no printed . he left Dubai, went to Kolkata, that's where he started. The trouble he went to, to get us in this uniform . I got to give credit to the entire team here, it was us in our own little circle, this win we dedicate it to all our fans in the Caribbean.

Lastly I really want to thank the heads of CARICOM, throughout this tournament they have been supporting the team, we've got emails, we've got phone calls, Prime Minister [Keith] Mitchell [from Grenada]. He sent a very inspiring email for the team this morning . and I'm yet to hear from our own cricket board. That is very disappointing.

 For today, I'm going to celebrate with these 15 men and coaching staff. I don't know when I'm going to be playing with these guys again because we don't get selected for one-day cricket. We don't know when we're going to be playing T20. So this win, I want to thank you my team, I want to thank you coaching staff . everybody know West Indies are champion!

(Courtesy ESPNCricinfo)





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