Nicholas apologises to Windies players for ‘brainless’ comment

London, April 4 (IANS) Former cricketer Mark Nicholas on Monday apologised for terming West Indies players “brainless”, a day after Darren Sammy lashed out at him during the post-match ceremony of the World Twenty20 final.

Nicolas made the comments in his coloumn before the start of the World T20 in India. After the West Indies defeated England by four wickets in a thrilling final to lift their second World 20 title at the Eden Gardens on Sunday, Sammy said the remarks had spurred on the players during the tournament.

“The third is to offer an unreserved apology to Darren Sammy, a man I hold in the highest regard, to his team and to the coaches around them for the throwaway phrase I used in a recent column on these pages. I would have made the same apology whatever the results of the day, but I do so now in the knowledge that the people of the Caribbean will have celebrated long into the night and well into today,” Nicholas wrote in his column for ESPNCricinfo.

“The spirit of the romantics will be with them and from thousands of miles away the rest of us can almost taste the rum, feel its punch and dream of the day when we return to the lapping shores of those incomparable islands.”

“Clearly, the West Indies team is not ‘short of brains’. I wrote this in a piece that was mainly about India and M.S. Dhoni and, partly tongue in cheek, exaggerated a likely ‘triumph’ — as in the ancient history of the Roman Empire. In picking a winner, I could see no further than the hosts,” he added.

Terming the West Indies’ triumph over England in the World T20 final as an “epic” win, the former Hampshire player said that their poor performances in the run-up to the tournament suggested that the men from the Carribean had little chance of clinching the trophy.

“I suggested England were a threat and maybe Australia and South Africa too. In three short and ill-conceived sentences I paid lip service to the other teams, casually remarking that West Indies were ‘short of brains but have IPL history in their ranks’. I did not say West Indies were ‘brainless’ or had ‘no brains’, as has been misquoted elsewhere, but I did say something unworthy of the game and disrespectful to a great cricketing legacy,” Nicholas said.

“My thought was based a) on what I had seen in Australia, first during the World Cup and then during the recent Test matches against the Australians, when the admirable Jason Holder received scant support from influential players around him, and then b) on the fact that many West Indians know their way around the IPL, which must be useful. But it was a throwaway, not a considered judgement, and frankly, pretty damn lazy because it did not take account of the different personnel,” he added.

“I regret it and apologise for it.”

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