Sports Page — West Indies batsman Marlon Samuels has strongly disagreed with the statement from West Indies ODI captain Dwayne Bravo, who said that the Jamaican had given consent to standing by “any decision taken by the team” including abandoning the tour of India. In an interview with ESPNcricinfo, Samuels pointed out that all three parties – players, WICB and West Indies Players Association – had handled the situation inappropriately but directed scathing criticism at Wavell Hinds, saying that the WIPA president and CEO was the “real reason” the situation became “messed up”.
“No, I did not say that I am going to stand by any decision,” Samuels said in a telephone interview on Monday from Jamaica. “Because nobody asked me questions like that. It is up to the individual to say okay I am with you. You had people in the room that didn’t even open their mouth or say anything. At the end of the day, I went there and asked my questions and I wasn’t satisfied [by the response]. If I was satisfied then I will be the first person to come out because I am an outspoken person. Then I will be the first person to come out and defend everything with [Bravo].”
This is the second time in less than a week Samuels has expressed a difference of opinion in the public domain against Bravo. In an interview with a radio station last week, Samuels said he spent time “ordering room service” while the rest of the players were attending meetings as he wanted “to finish the tour.” Bravo said he was “shocked” at Samuels considering he had participated in the meeting “vigorously” asking questions.
However, Samuels clarified that he had asked certain questions of Bravo in the two team meetings he had attended in India and having failed to get a convincing response, he decided to stay away. According to Samuels, he had asked Bravo to come out and explain to the Caribbean public the exact situation because failing to be transparent with them was not right.
“One of the questions I asked was the public don’t really know what is happening,” Samuels said. “The public are being misled. They need to know the truth behind this [pullout]. They need to go out there and explain what is really happening. He wasn’t willing to go and do that. That is why I say that if you are not up to doing what I want to go there and do, which is the right thing, then you are not going to get my full support. You cannot expect [me] to go and fight a war if you are not willing to go out and speak.”
Samuels’ reactions are a setback for Bravo who had said in a media statement released last Friday that the decision to leave India after the fourth ODI in Dharamsala was taken with the “full concert” of all the players. Samuels said that he was not surprised at all by Bravo releasing a statement but he agreed, and suggested, that calling him directly to sort things out would have been the best step.
“What he should have done, if you are a true leader, is to go out and call the player and ask him did you say things like this,” Samuels said. He also stressed he was not siding with either WICB or WIPA in the current situation but criticized administrators for failing to be proactive to come up with a solution. “I am not basically swinging with nobody in this matter. If you cannot go out and talk it as it is then I am not up to it.”
“All situations are handled badly. Wavell is wrong. The [WICB] president [Dave Cameron] should have taken a flight down to India and come and have a talk. To sit in the Caribbean and not come and speak to the players cannot be the right way to deal with things. So right across the board it is wrong.”