KOLKATA: An emotional Darren Sammy launched a passionate outburst against the West Indies’ cricket board following his side’s historic World Twenty20 title triumph over England in Kolkata on Sunday.
Carlos Brathwaite hit four successive sixes in the last over as the Windies stunned England, with skipper Sammy saying his side had lifted the trophy in spite of his country’s board.
“We had lots of issues, people wondered whether we would play this tournament,” Sammy said after the four-wicket win, secured with just two balls to spare at the Eden Gardens stadium.
“We felt disrespected by our board. Mark Nicholas (the English commentator) described us as a team with no brains. All these things before the tournament just brought this team together.
“I want to really thank these 15 men. The ability to put all that adversity aside and to play this type of cricket in front of such passionate fans is just tremendous,” the captain added.
The Caribbean team’s involvement in the tournament had been in doubt because of a dispute with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) over pay before an eleventh-hour agreement was struck.
Sammy said he had been touched by a good luck message the team had received from Grenada Prime Minister Keith Mitchell hours before the final as he took another swipe at the WICB.
“I really want to thank him. He sent a very inspiring message for the team this morning and I’m yet to hear from our own cricket board.
“That’s very disappointing,” added the 32-year-old.
Sammy went on to lay out the extent to which his squad had been unprepared for a tilt at a second World T20 title to add to the one they clinched in 2012.
“We had a new manager in Rawle Lewis, who has never managed a team before. We had no uniforms, no printing,” said the all-rounder.
“The trouble he went through to just get us in this uniform. I got to give credit to entire team here.
“It was us in our own little circle and we dedicate this win to all fans in Caribbean,” he added.
The West Indies looked dead and buried as they went into the final over needing 19 runs to win before Brathwaite hit four sixes off Ben Stokes’ first four deliveries.
A classy and nerveless unbeaten 85 by Marlon Samuels anchored the Windies successful run chase after openers Johnson Charles was out for one and Chris Gayle made only four.
When Lendl Simmons, batting at number four, went for nought, it looked like the Windies had little hope of successfully chasing England’s 155 for nine.
But Samuels’ knock, coupled with a 25 by Dwayne Bravo and 34 not out from Brathwaite spurred the Windies to finish on 161-6 after 19.4 overs.
An ecstatic Windies danced to Bravo’s single “Champion” as they celebrated a hat-trick of titles following the win in the women’s final earlier in the day and the under-19 boys back in February,
“We never gave up believing. It’s something we will cherish for a long time,” said Sammy.