Row with board mars Windies victory

Referring to a lengthy and bitter pay dispute, the Windies skipper said his team felt "disrespected by our board". Several hours later, the board slammed Sammy and apologised for his comments in a statement issued in Antigua and curiously headlined "WICB President has high praises for World Twenty20 Organisers".

West Indies captain Darren Sammy savours the World T20 title winning moment at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Sunday.   -  Getty Images

Carlos Brathwaite hit four consecutive sixes in a last-over thriller Sunday as the West Indies became the first team to win the World Twenty20 Championship twice. But the victory over England at Eden Gardens was marred when a long-running spat between players and the Caribbean board erupted into public.

The West Indies went into the last over needing an unlikely 19 against the bowling of Ben Stokes. Brathwaite astonishingly cleared the ropes four times in a row to fire the Windies to a four-wicket win with two balls to spare.

The gloss was soon taken off the scenes of unalloyed joy for the West Indies, which was also celebrating its women's Twenty20 final victory against Australia earlier, when Sammy gave vent to months — possibly years — of frustration with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) in a post match interview.

Referring to a lengthy and bitter pay dispute that had put WI’s World T20 participation in doubt, the all-rounder said his team felt "disrespected by our board". "We had a new manager in Rawle Lewis, who has never managed a team before. We had no uniforms, no printing," said Sammy.

"The trouble he went through to just get us in this uniform. I got to give credit to the entire team here."

No wishes from Windies Board

Sammy also thanked Grenada Prime Minister Keith Mitchell for a good luck message received hours before the final and then had a swipe at West Indies cricket chiefs. "I'm yet to hear from our own cricket board. That's very disappointing," said the 32-year-old.

WICB slams Sammy for comments

Several hours later, the board slammed Sammy and apologised for his comments in a statement issued in Antigua and curiously headlined "WICB President has high praises for World Twenty20 Organisers".

"The President would like to however apologise for what could be deemed inappropriate, comments made by the West Indies' male captain, Darren Sammy in a post-match interview and would like to apologise on behalf of the WICB, to the millions of fans who witnessed (sic)," said the statement. "The President has pledged to enquire the reason and will have the matter addressed."

WICB president Whycliffe 'Dave' Cameron had already appeared to take offence at Sammy's remarks by tweeting: “When is the last time a critic paid one of your bills? Always remember that when you start to give them your energy.”

Last year, Cameron had to apologise after retweeting a comment from a supporter that West Indies opening batsman Chris Gayle should be given a “retirement package” after a run of low scores.

Series of pay disputes

For many years the relative weakness of Caribbean economies and the often cash-strapped condition of the WICB have led to a series of pay disputes.

Recently, the situation has been exacerbated by the rise of lucrative domestic T20 tournaments such as the Indian Premier League, where West Indies players can earn significantly more from appearing in franchise cricket than they can from the international game.

Recognising this, the WICB statement, said it wanted to meet with players after the end of this year's IPL in a bid to seek “common ground”, with officials adding they would seek help from the International Cricket Council.

“We are fully aware of the financial rewards on offer in the lucrative international T20 leagues, but we believe deeply in the importance of cricket to the people of the region and of West Indies cricket's place in world cricket. It is therefore a priority to have all of our players competing and available for selection.”

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