West Indies captain Dwayne Bravo has hit back at Marlon Samuels for claiming that he was not part of the ODI team’s plan to abandon the troubled tour of India, saying that his teammate was an “interested party” and spoke “vigorously” during the meetings he attended.
Samuels had said that since he has not accredited with the West Indies Players Association, he wanted to focus on finishing the India tour before raising any objections concerning the contract and memorandum of understanding signed between the WIPA and the WICB.
“Wavell Hinds cannot negotiate on behalf of me so I know that once I continued (to play) I just needed to finish this tour and then I would have asked questions,” Samuels, the first player to speak out about the controversial decision taken by the players, was quoted as saying by the local media.
“The main thing first was West Indies cricket, that is why I remained focused throughout everything,” he had said.
Bravo said he was “shocked” at the claims made by Samuels. He said Samuels contributed vigorously to the discussions held and indicated clearly at that time that he would stand with any decision taken by the team.
” I note the comments attributed to Mr Marlon Samuels from media reports and wish to state that Mr Samuels was invited to and did attend the majority of meetings with the players on tour,” Bravo said in a media statement.
“We extended an invitation to Mr Marlon Samuels with the full knowledge that he is not a member of WIPA but was an interested party. Mr Samuels contributed vigorously to the discussions held and indicated clearly, at that time, that he would stand with any decision taken by the team. I am therefore shocked to see the statements, if true, that have been attributed to Mr Samuels.”
The decision of the team was to withdraw their services following a bitter wrangle with the Wavell Hinds-led WIPA over the new terms of the recently negotiated Collective Bargaining Agreement, which they have claimed results in a drastic reduction in their earnings. They were to play another ODI, one T20 match and three Tests.
Samuels was the only bright spot for the West Indies on the tour, smashing two superb centuries to finish the ODI series with 254 runs from three innings.
According to Bravo, the decision to quit the tour was taken “in concert with all members of the squad” and not solely by him.
“I wish to state for the record that all correspondence sent and decisions taken were with the full agreement and consent of the players on tour including the current Test captain Denesh Ramdin and the T20 captain Darren Sammy,” said Bravo.
“It was agreed that someone needed to correspond with WIPA after we were presented with the match/tour contract in India when it became evident that the terms and conditions were very different from what we were accustomed to and expected. The team members met and I, as captain, was nominated and accepted the responsibility to correspond on behalf of the players on tour and I will continue to do so as designated,” he said.
Bravo said that the players, barring Samuels, have decided to pursue the issue through legal help going forward.
“We do not wish to make any further statements on this matter since the players on tour (except Samuels) with some additional players who did not tour India have appointed counsel to represent them in this matter,” he said.
“We look forward to a speedy resolution and that our concerns, and that of all players including the first-class players, are addressed in a satisfactory and timely manner.”