Carlos Brathwaite hit four consecutive sixes in a last-over thriller Sunday as the West Indies became the first team to win the World Twenty20 Championship twice.
But the victory over England at Eden Gardens was marred when a long-running spat between players and the Caribbean board erupted into public.
The West Indies went into the last over needing an unlikely 19 against the bowling of Ben Stokes.
Brathwaite astonishingly cleared the ropes four times in a row to fire the Windies to a four-wicket win with two balls to spare.
West Indies team’s Winning Dance:
“To see Carlos play like that at his debut World Cup was just tremendous,” an emotional West Indies skipper Darren Sammy said afterwards.
The gloss was soon taken off the scenes of unalloyed joy for the West Indies, who were also celebrating their women’s Twenty20 final victory against Australia earlier, when Sammy gave vent to months — possibly years — of frustration with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) in a post-match interview.
Referring to a lengthy and bitter pay dispute that had put their World Twenty20 participation in doubt, the all-rounder said his team felt “disrespected by our board”.
“We had a new manager in Rawle Lewis, who has never managed a team before. We had no uniforms, no printing,” said Sammy.
“The trouble he went through to just get us in this uniform. I got to give credit to the entire team here.”
‘Disappointing’ Windies board
Sammy also thanked Grenada Prime Minister Keith Mitchell for a good luck message received hours before the final and then had a swipe at West Indies cricket chiefs.
“I’m yet to hear from our own cricket board. That’s very disappointing,” said the 32-year-old.
Several hours later, the board slammed Sammy and apologised for his comments in a statement issued in Antigua and curiously headlined “WICB President has high praises for World Twenty20 Organisers”.
“The President would like to however apologise for what could be deemed inappropriate, comments made by the West Indies’ male captain, Darren Sammy in a post-match interview and would like to apologise on behalf of the WICB, to the millions of fans who witnessed (sic),” said the statement.
“The President has pledged to enquire the reason and will have the matter addressed.”
Meanwhile, England captain Eoin Morgan in his post-match interview refused to blame the crestfallen Stokes for the heart-breaking defeat.
“It’s not his fault, we’re all in this together, we enjoy our wins, and the pain will be shared tonight,” he said.
Marlon Samuels anchored the West Indies’ run chase of 156 with an unbeaten 85, including nine boundaries and two sixes, after England had posted 155 for 9 in their 20 overs.
After being reduced to 11 for three, Samuels single-handedly kept the Caribbean team in the hunt with his 66-ball blitz.