The vice-president of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), Emmanuel Nanthan, yesterday launched a major broadside against Darren Sammy 48 hours after he led West Indies into the history books by becoming the first team to capture the ICC T20 World Cup twice.
Nanton has blasted as “irrelevant, demeaning, insulting, and unfortunate” comments made by Sammy minutes after West Indies pulled off a stunning four-wicket victory over England to seal the title.
Sammy courted controversy when he hit out at the WICB for its lack of support and praised Prime Minister of Grenada Dr Keith Mitchell and CARICOM for messages of support, which inspired his team.
“So to try to make it look like the board was inefficient in any way is rather unfortunate,” declared Nanton in a radio interview in Dominica.
“To spoil what was a tremendous achievement for the Caribbean civilisation with comments that are totally irrelevant and demeaning and insulting to the Caribbean people I believe was rather unfortunate”.
Sammy’s comments were also made against the backdrop of the players’ contracts dispute with the WICB before the start of the tournament back in February, which threatened the side’s participation.
Sammy acted as the players’ representative during the brief impasse.
The WICB vice-president also took issue with the players for complaining about a reduction in their fee structure for the World Cup while not disclosing increases in fees for the regional competition.
“So the players complained that for the World Cup, their fees went down maybe by US$20,000 or thereabout. But they did not say that the week before they got the World Cup contract, all of them signed contracts for the regional competition, where their fees went up by US$80,000, $140,000, $145,000, and $75,000. They did not say that,” said Nanthan.
“But they are saying that they had a loss of US$20,000 each on the World Cup. The World Cup is every other year. Our regional competition is every year. So really and truly, they were making noise for losing $20,000 on one side but gaining $150,000 or $280,000 in some instances on the other hand and never ever said that to anybody.”
On Sunday, Sammy also praised newly installed manager Rawle Lewis, who, he said, went to extraordinary lengths to solve a uniform problem during the pre-tournament camp in Dubai.
But Nanthan has dismissed Sammy’s comments on this issue as misleading, blaming the impasse for the delay in printing numbers on the uniforms.
“The date was coming. The players had not consented to go to play, so the company delivered the uniforms without the numbers in them because we were not sure which players we going to play,” he said.
“So when the logistics officer left the Caribbean for Dubai, he had a ticket in his hands to go to pick up the uniforms in Calcutta, put the numbers on them, and carry them himself to the team well before the World Cup.”
Earlier, the WICB, in a release, had described Sammy’s comments as “inappropriate” and promised an investigation with a view to taking necessary action.
Nanthan’s comments are likely to fuel more tension between the champion West Indies side, which has garnered massive support in the region, and an embattled Dave Cameron-led WICB, which is coming under mounting public pressure to step down. (jamaicagleaner)
PHOTO -: West Indies T20 captain Darren Sammy