Jamaican sports minister wants common ground in WICB, players conflict

Kingston (Jamaica), April 7 (IANS) Jamaican Sports Minister Olivia Grange has called for restraint in the ongoing impasse between the West Indies Cricket Board and the players, and says the two parties need to find common ground.

She was speaking at a welcome reception on Wednesday for Marlon Samuels and Jerome Taylor, the two Jamaican members of the West Indies team who beat England by four wickets last Sunday in India, to capture the Twenty20 World Cup, reports CMC.

The tensions between the WICB and players were laid bare following the win, with captain Darren Sammy openly criticising the board for its apparent lack of support during the tournament.

Grange said both sides had a major responsibility in the matter.

“Like good parents, the WICB must reposition itself in such a way that its players see the governing body as its chief guardian rather than its Achilles heel,” the minister said.

“The players too must also be cognizant that not receiving best wishes prior to an exam doesn’t mean your parents are uncaring or want you to fail.”

Grange emphasised that the success was as a result of a collective effort by all those involved in the West Indies cricket.

“The West Indies Cricket Board, the players, the coaching and management staff, the fans – and dare I say our critics too – all contributed to this remarkable and historic achievement.”

Samuels was one of the key players in the final, stroking an unbeaten 85 under pressure to help steer the West Indies to victory. He also performed a similar feat in the 2012 final, when they beat hosts Sri Lanka to also win that event.

As usual, however, Samuels courted controversy, with his verbal wrangle with all-rounder Ben Stokes costing him 30 percent of his match fee, following a disciplinary charge by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

Grange encouraged Samuels to let his performances speak for themselves.

“Marlon, you are a world class cricketer and proven match winner,” she said, “continue to speak with your bat my son and say nothing else.”

She also lauded Taylor’s contribution to the winning effort noting: “You might have played only one game in this tournament but as a veteran campaigner your guidance and support to the younger bowlers was crucial.”

Grange hoped the capture of the world title could signal the revival of the West Indies cricket.

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