Mumbai - English commentator and columnist Mark Nicholas apologised on Monday for
suggesting that ICC World Twenty20 champions West Indies lacked cricketing
Following the Caribbean side's stunning four-wicket win over England
in Sunday's final in Kolkata, a victory sealed when Carlos Brathwaite
hit four successive sixes in the last over, victorious West Indies
captain Darren Sammy said Nicholas's remarks had riled his side.
"Mark Nicholas described us as a team with no brains," said Sammy in an emotional post-match interview.
Sammy was referring to a March 3 column for the ESPNCricinfo website
when, looking ahead to the World Twenty20, Nicholas wrote: "West Indies
are short of brains but have IPL (Indian Premier League) history in
Nicholas, in his latest Cricinfo column, published on Monday, said he
offered an "unreserved apology" to Sammy, "a man I hold in the highest
regard," for his "throwaway phrase".
He added: "Clearly, the West Indies team is not 'short of brains'.
"I did not say West Indies were 'brainless' or had 'no brains'... but
I did say something unworthy of the game and disrespectful to a great
cricketing legacy," explained Nicholas, a television commentator with
both England's Channel Five and Australia's Channel Nine.
Former Hampshire captain Nicholas played alongside several West
Indian greats during his time with the English south coast county,
including outstanding pacemen Andy Roberts and Malcolm Marshall.
On Monday, he lauded Roberts, off whom he took his first first-class
catch, as the man who "led the thinking of a truly great collection of
West Indian fast bowlers".
"Then I had 13 years with Malcolm Marshall, my best friend in
cricket. I also had the privilege of giving the eulogy at his funeral in
Barbados - the saddest occasion," recalled 58-year-old former batsman
Although critical of Nicholas in his post-match interview,
all-rounder Sammy was even more scathing regarding the West Indies
Cricket Board (WICB), with whom leading players have been locked in a
long-running pay dispute, and said they had "disrespected" the team.
Nicholas said he understood the captain's frustration, writing:
"Those of us who have let him down took a hammering. Fair enough too.
"I shall never forget the World T20 final of 2016. Neither will Sammy. I wish him and his men nothing but joy."