West Indies, Jamaican cricketer Marlon Samuels, has strongly denied several assertions made by West Indies one-day captain, Trinidadian Dwayne Bravo, in a letter issued to the media at the weekend.
The letter, the latest in a series by Bravo, refuted previous comments made by Samuels in a radio interview done early last week, where the latter distanced himself from the player boycott of the recently concluded West Indies tour of India.
Replying to a part of the letter which stated, “Mr Samuels was invited to, and did attend the majority of meetings with the players on tour”, Samuels said such a statement is not true.
“That is definitely not true. I don’t know what he called majority,” Samuels told a leading Jamaican newspaper. “In the radio interview I did, I said I went to a couple of the meetings. So if they keep 10 or 15 meetings, I would not know.
“I went to a couple of meetings and voiced my opinions by asking some serious questions, to which, at the time, he was not willing to share (answers), which for me was a waste of time.”
Samuels, who is the first West Indian other than Bravo to speak publicly on the team’s withdrawal, also dismissed another section of the letter which stated that “Mr Samuels contributed vigorously to the discussions held, and indicated clearly, at that time, that he would stand with any decision made by the team”.
“I never put up my hand or anything to say that I stand by any team or anything like that. I don’t know where he got that from,” Samuels said.
“Bravo has to be very careful as he has to have that on tape or stuff like that,” said Samuels.
“The word vigorously that he used, most definitely. My questions were vigorous towards him, and, if he was not up to delivering on the questions that I put towards him, again, I thought it did not make sense.
“If you can’t go out there and deliver what I want, and still you want me to take a real part (in the discussions), then I am not going to take part in it.”
The 33-year-old Samuels, who prior to the abandonment of the tour after the fourth game of a five-match one-day series, was the leading runs scorer overall with two centuries, went on to state that for Bravo to say that he was “shocked” at his radio comments, is as a surprise to him.
“He shouldn’t even be surprised at anything I said because of the way I was moving on tour. He should have seen that I was definitely in the middle and watching how things would go,” Samuels pointed out.
Meanwhile, Samuels, who reiterated his position that he was not in agreement with the team leaving India, said Bravo simply erred in dealing with the matter.
Samuels says he would have instructed the team to complete the tour, then hold dialogue with the relevant parties afterward.
“How it was dealt with was wrong. Wavell Hinds had already done wrong, but, it (the impasse) could be worked out in a better way,” he said.
“We were there to play cricket and were already there, so why not finish the cricket, and then go and negotiate and deal with the situation after?”
West Indies pulled out of the India tour two weeks ago due to a dispute with their union, the West Indies Players Association, over salaries and benefits.
The tour, in addition to the one-day series, was set to feature three Test matches and a one-off Twenty20 international.
West Indies players who controversially abandoned the tour of India last week have retained legal counsel as they prepare to tackle the contentious Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) signed by their union, WIPA.
But while several other players who did not tour India were also seeking legal advice on the issue, batsman Marlon Samuels has opted not to pursue this course of action along with his teammates.
This was confirmed in a release on Friday by One-Day captain Dwayne Bravo, who is also acting as a spokesman for the aggrieved players.
Bravo stressed that while he had undertaken the role of spokesman for the players, all correspondence during that period had been issued with the full backing of the players.
The senior all-rounder said the playing group had been boosted by the widespread support they had received, though they had also received criticism in some quarters.
“We recognise that a few have attempted to put the blame squarely on the players without the full knowledge of the facts. This is regrettable since a few persons are making statements without knowing all the relevant facts. In time we believe all the facts will come to light,” Bravo said.
“We do not wish to make any further statements on this matter since the players on tour (except Mr Samuels) with some additional players who did not tour India have appointed Counsel to represent them in this matter.
“We look forward to a speedy resolution and that our concerns, and that of all players including the first- class players, are addressed in a satisfactory and timely manner.”