‘Shocked’ Bravo responds to Samuels’ denials

The drama surrounding the West Indies’ salary dispute and departure of their India tour has taken another turn, with all-rounder Marlon Samuels saying he was happy to keep playing, prompting a reaction from Dwayne Bravo.

The West Indies pulled out of their India tour after the fourth ODI, infuriating the BCCI, after the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) and the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) failed to come to an agreement about salaries.

Bravo, a leading figure in the WIPA, had spearheaded the players’ side of things, along with WIPAboss Wavell Hinds, but Samuels, not a member of WIPA, said he wanted to stay and finish the tour, and wasn’t part of the discussions.

Samuels told Power 104 FM: “Wavell Hinds (the WIPA president) cannot negotiate on behalf of me so I know that once I continued (to play), I just needed to finish this tour and then I would have asked questions.

“The main thing first was West Indies cricket; that is why I remained focused throughout everything.

“For most of those meetings, I was probably in my room ordering room service. I don’t go to those meetings. A lot of meetings were kept but I have no time for those meetings. My focus was just on playing some cricket.”

But Bravo vehemently disagreed with his team-mate, saying Samuels had in fact attended most of the eight meetings held, and was a key contributor to the discussions. He also said all the players agreed to the course of action.

Bravo said in a statement on Friday: “I note the comments attributed to Mr. Marlon Samuels from media reports and wish to state that Mr. Samuels was invited to and did attend the majority of meetings with the players on tour.

“We extended an invitation to Mr. Marlon Samuels with the full knowledge that he is not a member of WIPA but was an interested party. Mr. Samuels contributed vigorously to the discussions held and indicated clearly, at that time, that he would stand with any decision taken by the team.

“I am therefore shocked to see the statements, if true, that have been attributed to Mr. Samuels.”

He added: “I wish to state for the record that all correspondence sent and decisions taken were with the full agreement and consent of the players on tour including the current Test captain Mr. Denesh Ramdin and the T20 captain Mr. Darren Sammy.

“It was agreed that someone needed to correspond with WIPA after we were presented with the match/tour contract in India when it became evident that the terms and conditions were very different from what we were accustomed to and expected.

“The team members met and I, as captain, was nominated and accepted the responsibility to correspond on behalf of the players on tour and I will continue to do so as designated.”