Stokes launches scathing attack on Samuels in new book

London, Sep 18 (IANS) England all-rounder Ben Stokes has launched a scathing attack on the West Indies middle-order batsman Marlon Samuels in the newest twist of a lingering feud between the two cricketers.

In an extract from his book “Firestarter”, the 25-year-old added fuel to the flames of an already strained relationship by labelling Samuels as disrespectful and “lacking manners,” reports CMC on Saturday.

A feisty rivalry, which began during a Test in Grenada last year, escalated during the World T20 final in Kolkata earlier this year.

“Marlon Samuels lacks respect. You get that if you have spent any time with him on a cricket field. Marlon’s conduct after West Indies’ victory over us in this year’s World Twenty20 final showed a total disrespect for the game,” said Stokes, in his autobiography, “Firestarter: Me, Cricket and The Heat of the Moment”.

“Without removing his batting pads, Marlon walked into a press conference, sat down and placed his feet on the desk. Totally lacking manners.”

The two have been at loggerheads since Samuels gave Stokes an infamous send-off by saluting him after his dismissal in the Grenada Test.

The feud further escalated during the World T20 final in Kolkata when the pair went face-to-face in the middle.

“It didn’t require him to give me a character assassination – bizarrely claiming I am some sort of ‘nervous laddie’ – to help me form the opinion that I do not like him one bit. I believe in the saying ‘respect the game’. I don’t think he respects the game,” said Stokes.

“Yes, he played an unbelievable innings but, because of our personal history, it stops me short of saying he’s a good player. Team players are the good players in my eyes.”

Samuels, who scored 85 not out, was later fined for using abusive and offensive language directed at Stokes.

The incident occurred after team-mate Carlos Braithwaite hit the bowler for four successive sixes in the final over to seal the victory.

In his book, Stokes has admitted that the feud was ignited as a result of comments he made to Samuels when West Indies were reduced to 14 for three.

“His mannerisms got me involved with Marlon. I was at mid-off and, in my enthusiasm, found myself creeping in from my position and I noticed that Samuels, at the non-striker’s end, was walking around like the big easy. I couldn’t resist,” Stokes confessed.

“‘You’ve got a bit of a swagger on here, Marlon, considering you’re 14 for three’, I said. ‘Shut the f… up, you little bitch,’ came the reply.”

–IANS

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