Sammy: Players fired up by ‘brainless’ comment


West Indies captain Darren Sammy has revealed that a comment made by journalist Mark Nicholas ahead of the World Twenty20, calling the team 'brainless', really fired the players up and fueled their passion.

The Windies will compete against England in the final on Sunday, having won the tournament in 2012, and Sammy said Nicholas' comment ("West Indies are short of brains but have IPL history in their ranks") infuriated the players.

He added that the players were always being written off by the media, but that T20 cricket was their forte, and that they had grown closer as a group in the face of a barrage or criticism ahead of the event.

Sammy said: "How could you describe people with no brains? Even animals have brains. We're not an object, and for me, that comment really set us off. You have seen my talking about it.

"It's really emotional, for somebody who I respect and have a good rapport with generally, to describe our team – who two years ago were world champions – as guys with no brains. That's really out of order.

"This passion, these emotions, this anger – what these people have been saying – this has always been there from the inception of the tournament. God don't love the ugly, and we are very wonderful and beautifully made. That's why we play exciting cricket.

"So for us, all these things that happened before the tournament – that is the passion, the determination that we take on the field. Its just one more step to lifting that cup and we believe we can do it.

"It's been a tough journey. A lot happened before the tournament, and I believe that everything always happens for a reason. I think the pre-tournament shenanigans brought us really closer together as a team.

"I don't know if you have heard the coach say it. The players have said it – it feels like it's us against everybody else. It's a format we've been consistent in, but every year nobody gives us a chance.

"All these things brought this team together. I think the fact that a few of us are getting old now, and we are aware that it could be the last for a few key players, has also brought us closer. We've formed our own little circle."