'I never put up my hand' Samuels hits back at Bravo; says decision to pull out of India tour was wrong
Jermaine Lannaman, Gleaner Writer
West Indies batsman, Marlon Samuels, has strongly denied several assertions made by West Indies one-day captain, 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 The Gleaner yesterday. "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.