Richards behind Sammy in West Indies dispute

St. John’s (Antigua), April 7 (IANS) Batting legend Viv Richards has supported T20 skipper Darren Sammy in his decision to slam the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) for its lack of support during the recent World T20 in India.

During the post-match ceremony following the World T20 final on Sunday, Sammy said the team felt “disrespected” by the WICB and had not heard from the Antigua-based organisation during their successful campaign, reports CMC.

“I don’t think Sammy would be a liar. I think Sammy is as honest as they come so it is going to be quite interesting, going forward, to see and to hear exactly what comes from the board,” Richards, who never lost a Test series as the West Indies captain, told the Observer newspaper here on Wednesday.

He continued: “Sammy did what he had to do. It was on his mind and you could see what he said meant a lot; it came from the heart. In my mind, it looked like something planned.”

“Anyone who knows Darren Sammy knows that he is an individual and how he would have led the West Indies cricket from his very start as captain, and sees how committed he is. So I am pleased, in a big way, that he was able to get it off his chest.”

Prior to the squad’s departure for the pre-World Cup training camp in Dubai, Sammy found himself at the centre of a brief impasse between the players and the WICB over remuneration for the tournament.

Acting as the players’ representative, Sammy labelled the pay offer “totally unacceptable” in a letter to the board and asked for a return to the previous pay structure.

The proposal was rejected by the board who said the agreement had already been hammered out with the West Indies Players’ Union (WIPA).

The West Indies created history at the World T20 when they swept both the men’s and women’s titles last Sunday. The women downed three-time defending champions Australia Women by eight wickets while the men followed up with a sensational last over four-wicket victory over England.

Richards said the board now needed to harness the energy from this achievement, along with that of the Under-19s success at the Youth World Cup earlier this year.

“There are some hungry folks out there and especially with the excitement with what would have been created from the three versions like the Under-19, the women’s factor then the men doing what they did on Sunday,” Richards said.

“The interest would certainly be there, so we need to try and get into some areas where we haven’t tapped before to try and find some of these fast bowlers that maybe, can help to make a difference in the future. I don’t think enough of that would have been done in the past.”

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