England v West Indies, World T20 2016 final April 3, 2016

Warne, Stokes feel Samuels' fire

157

"Badass" is a word often thrown around lightly. Not for Marlon Samuels. Having won his second Man of the Match award in World Twenty20 finals, Samuels came for his press conference still in his pads. The England press conference was on when he arrived, and he sat and waited, accepting congratulations from those working in the media centre. About five minutes had gone by when he finally lost patience, and inquired when the thing would start. He had come without the West Indies media manager and he was going to do things media managers lose their jobs for.

Finally Eoin Morgan left the press conference room. They didn't look at each other. Samuels walked in. Sat sideways because he was wearing pads, and couldn't stick his legs under the table. The ICC representative, who was going to coordinate the press conference, tried to explain to him the cameras were in front. In a heaving room, though, Samuels had the audience on side. Without moving his head, he looked at the cameras and asked, "Are you ready for me?" No one objected. They'd be damned if they objected to him.

And then, just to make himself more comfortable, Samuels placed his feet on the table, spikes and all. The ICC representative tried to talk him out of it. Samuels just wanted to be comfortable. He had played some of the most gorgeous straight drives under immense pressure just minutes ago. Surely nobody minds him not giving the cameras the perfect angle. The ICC records this press conference on a camera just to the right or the left of the player. All it is likely to have got is the spikes talking. And the words stung more than his scorching hits.

There is history between Shane Warne and Samuels. During a BBL match in January 2013, Samuels seemed to have grabbed Warne's Melbourne Stars team-mate David Hussey as he turned for a second run. Warne indulged in some shirt pulling when Samuels came out to bat. Then a Warne throw from close range whizzed by Samuels's face after which Samuels threw away his bat in anger.

Warne the commentator has also not been very complimentary of Samuels, who doesn't like it. When accepting his Man of the Match award, Samuels said he had only Warne on his mind when he woke up, and - following criticism of his dismissal against India in the semi-final - that he knew he would turn up for the final. Then he displayed his trophy to the cameras and said, "This is for Shane Warne."

At the press conference he laid into Warne some more. "Every team I play for, Shane Warne has a problem with me," Samuels said. "I don't know what, I've never disrespected him, it seems he has a lot inside him that he needs to come out with. I don't appreciate the way that he continues to talk about me, and the things he keeps doing. I don't know, maybe it is because my face is real and his face is not."

Ben Stokes, who also has some history with Samuels, came in for stick as well, after their ongoing tussle through the final. Samuels was waiting for the third umpire to rule on a catch - eventually he was given not out - when he and Stokes had a word. Once the umpires confirmed Samuels was to come back, he gave Stokes an angry word or three. After the match was won, Samuels removed his jersey and rushed across to be in front of the England dressing room to gesticulate. He was later fined 30% of his match fee by the ICC for "abusive and offensive language" directed at Stokes.

Marlon Samuels and Ben Stokes exchange words © Getty Images

"Stokes is a nervous laddie," Samuels said when asked of his chat with Carlos Brathwaite before the last over, off which West Indies needed 19 to win. Brathwaite hit four consecutive sixes to win the match with two balls to spare. "So what I tell Braithwaite is to just hold his pose, and he's going to bowl a couple of full tosses, as always, and it will work in our favour. And he played a brilliant knock at the end there to give me a little break down at the other end."

Stokes came in for further anger. "Well, he doesn't learn," Samuels said. "They keep telling him when he plays against me, do not speak to me because I'm going to perform. I didn't even face a ball and he had so much to say to me that I know I had to be right there at the end, again."

Samuels said that the needling kept him going. "That's what I thrive on," Samuels said. "That's why I'm still around for so long, despite so much ups and downs. I've turned my life around in the last five years, and I wake up every day and give thanks to god and to my kids, this is what I am doing for them."

For some inexplicable reason the press conference was ended abruptly at six minutes. Samuels wanted to talk more. He asked for more questions. At this moment he was laying into everything that moved. The ICC representative, though, put his foot down. Perhaps it was Samuels' posture, perhaps it was the lack of political correctness. They might want to control him off the field, but on the field Samuels couldn't be controlled on the night.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  •   Ifthikhaar Kareem on April 8, 2016, 6:44 GMT

    The incident earlier between Stokes & Samuels had the outcome shown in the last over; what goes around comes around. It was meant to be! I don't think if Samuels was facing the last over; he would have hit those four consecutive sixes. The way it occurred was an education & a reality check on the system employed in our country from On High (on our psychology). Before the last over was bowled, the commentator said, "Everyone is waiting for Divine Intervention." Even Morgan had a smile on his face!

  • kunald7551612 on April 7, 2016, 19:38 GMT

    SAMUEL did the right thing...play a dream knock...and knock down your haters

  • risk142007 on April 7, 2016, 10:33 GMT

    You finger at him and you will face defeat..this is how happens always with cricketers around the world. No one can forget Aamir Sohail and Venketesh Prasad. No one can forget Aandre Nail and Srisanth. No one can forget Jawed Miadad and Kiran More. McGrath and lara, there are hundreds of example when you provoke and find yourself in the loosing side. Australia and England think they are best in this business and think they have done more than anyone in the world. Shane Warne took most of his wicket against England, all knows they are not good against spin. Egland just won 1 major ICC tournament and their player always put himself ahead of others just because of ASHES series, just let ASHES out from the picture and you find there is no such good record of England and Australian. I respect WI and genuinely think they are such a GENTLEMEN cricketer. hats of their performance and its a lesson for all that there is limit of abusing.

  • J on April 7, 2016, 8:28 GMT

    Just ask Shane, how good Murali is ...

  • sam on April 7, 2016, 5:04 GMT

    Even though it was probably not a gentlemanly thing to do by Samuels but the ICC Official should not have stopped it. As long as there is verbal sparring (and no physical sparring) it improves ratings and fans want to watch more. Stop calling cricket "Gentleman's Game". It is just another game like any other. Yes, test cricket resembles human life a lot. And yes, there are a few gentlemen in cricket like MSD, Amla, Lara and Gilchrist who always "walked" and treated others with respect. But those are few and far between and becoming fewer. When people have a history between them let them open it all out in front of the media. It improves TV ratings. And both Stokes and Warne have disrespected Samuels enough publicly in a cricket match. So they are "fair" game. IMO It's absolute B.S. when people abuse others in a match and talk with respect after a game. Abuse is Abuse. Whether during games or after games.

  • Paul on April 7, 2016, 3:33 GMT

    Yeah, he's all class, is Marlon Samuels. Warne is a respected commentator and paid for his opinion, which is worth plenty considering his experience (like him or not he was a great of the game and is an astute cricket mind). Samuels failed in the semi and Warne called it as he saw it (as everyone saw it). Samuels is lucky Braithwaite won the game for WI or otherwise we'd be asking why Samuels didn't score more quickly and cost his team the game.

  • Sunil on April 6, 2016, 23:24 GMT

    Good on you Marlon. Warne is a really unpleasant character and he should not be spared from the frank and honest comments that are coming to him.

  • Chinamangoogly_5325292A-6358-40A4-AFA0-2BEC84D9E0C8 on April 6, 2016, 15:43 GMT

    What Samuels doesn't realize is that it doesn't matter how well he performs he will never be acknowledged by the likes of Warne and Stokes and even Mark Nicholas who don't necessarily favour the West Indian style of playing cricket (boundary-hitting). He needs to disregard their opinions instead of letting them get under his skin. But at the same time I sympathize with him. He felt disrespected and jumped at the chance to get back at Stokes and Warne. He felt like the world was against him and wanted to gain approval by all who criticized him, which he felt he deserved after the win. Unfortunately arrogance took over. What Samuels did may not be seen as appropriate by most of the cricketing world, but if one chooses to examine what he has been through, one can hardly blame him for his response.

  • Rob on April 6, 2016, 15:22 GMT

    People do care (21BIN) what happens (in the sport of cricket) after the game. Cricket is a sport where sportsmanship still exisits to a high degree and it will be a sad day when it does not. In baseball,for instance, the losing team is not even acknowledged to exist! It is all about the winner. This is the culture of the game. It is how it has evolved over the decades. Is cricket heading in this direction? People who maybe have not seen the other side of this equation ( ie watched American sports) will not realize the consequences of this 'slippery slope'. It may be difficult,at times, to actually go out of your way to honour an opponent but not to acknowledge their presence is something that I hope is not part of the future of this game. It takes two teams to make a game. Cricket offers its followers,its fans,something valuable after the game is over. To win ,or lose,graciously is an important and long standing part of the culture of this game. Long may it continue to exist!

  • Rob on April 6, 2016, 13:29 GMT

    I watched the final on tv. I did not see any onfield coverage of what occurred right after the game ended. Am wondering why.Did the teams shake hands? Was there onfield mingling and congratulations,etc, as per the other games in this tournament? If not did this set the tone for the post game venting to some degree. I live in North America and am used to seeing the 'winner take all' mentality in sports and how sportsmanship suffers as a result. I hope cricket and the players are not heading in that direction. All sports are poorer with lack of sportsmanship. The 'spirit of cricket' is something valuable and hopefully this aspect of the game is not being eroded.

  • No featured comments at the moment.