England all-rounder Ben Stokes has revealed what he and West Indies counterpart Marlon Samuels argued about during the World Twenty20 final earlier this year, with the redhead saying he does not like Samuels ‘one bit’.
The fiery pair clashed more than once during that final, which the Windies won in the final over. Stokes was the bowler, and he was smacked for four consecutive sixes by Carlos Brathwaite to lose the match.
Afterwards, Samuels was asked to do the press conference, as he’d been a key batsman during the chase, and Stokes took exception to the way Samuels behaved, calling it disrespectful of the game.
Stokes wrote in his book Firestarter, an extract of which was published in the Daily Mail: “Marlon’s conduct after West Indies’ victory… showed a total disrespect for the game.
“Without removing his batting pads, Marlon walked into a press conference, sat down and placed his feet on the desk. Totally lacking manners.
“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.
“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.”
He then explained what they had said to each other earlier in the match: “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. ‘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 b!@$h,’ came the reply.
“I simply reminded him of the score, and he came back with the same words again.”
That score reminder was for nought in the end, as Stokes was the bowler that conceded the winning runs, with Samuels at the non-striker’s end.
He continued: “People will talk about Carlos Brathwaite hitting me for four consecutive sixes for the rest of my life. I can deal with that. What I couldn’t handle was losing the game.
“It was a numb feeling. I felt hollow. My England teammates were the ones I had affected most with those four deliveries.
“We had gone all the way to the tournament’s final over. But in a flash, all that hard graft had come to nothing.
“The other lads were there for me. I felt their hands on my back, on my shoulders. I was aware of their kind and supportive words. Yet I was barely listening. And I couldn’t say ‘Thanks’. Actually, I couldn’t talk at all.
“In the aftermath, people kept asking: ‘Will you bowl the death over again?’ It didn’t need much thought. One hundred per cent I will.”
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