Skipper Darren Sammy on Sunday launched a scathing attack on the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), as the region’s side was crowned champions of Twenty20 world cricket in Kolkata.
An emotional Sammy said the players felt “disrespected” by their own board, as he made reference to unresolved pay issues.
“People were wondering we would plays this tournament, we had issues with the board, [commentator] Mark Nicholas called us players with no brain. But all of us came together, these 15 men put adversity aside, play this type of cricket in front of such passionate fans. It was tremendous. I want to thank the coaching team, Phil Simmons,” Sammy said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
“Really happy for this win, it’s something we’ll cherish for a long time. We have a few match winners, nobody give us a chance, every game somebody stepped up – good to see Carlos play like that in his debut World Cup,” added Sammy.
“We had a new manager in this tournament in Rawle Lewis. He was doing the job for the first time. He came to Dubai and we know what he did so that we get the jerseys. We did not have the jerseys. Got to give credit to the entire team here.
“This is for all the fans in the Caribbean. Prime Minister [Dr Keith Mitchell of Grenada] send us a very inspiring message for the team.”
Sammy also took a dig at the board as he was not selected in the 50-over format.
“I don’t know when I’m going to be playing for West Indies again, I want to thank my team, thanks my coaching staff. This is for the Champions,” he said, referring to the popular Dwayne Bravo song.
“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 . . . 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 has been through a lot, and to come here and the way he has 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 Rawle Lewis, he had never managed any team before. He came here, we were at a camp in Dubai, but we had no uniforms, . . . 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 [Dr 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!”