England all-rounder Ben Stokes, who was hit for four consecutive sixes in the final of over of World T20 in Eden Gardens earlier this year, has come out with a shocking revelation about West Indies’ Marlon Samuels in his book Firestarter, excerpts of which were published in The Daily Mail on Saturday.
Stokes said the Jamaican’s behaviour during and after the final “showed a total disrespect for the game” and enforced Stokes’ belief that “I do not like him one bit”.
Following the 2015 Grenada Test, the cold relations between Stokes and Samuels are quite known to the world. Both too have never shied away from expressing their dislike of each other. And the two combatants took it to a new level when Samuels guided the Windies to a thrilling WT20 victory in Kolkata in April, with Stokes hammered for four consecutive sixes by Carlos Brathwaite as Samuels stood at the non-striker’s end.
Samuels was fined 30 percent of his match fee for his conduct during the match and continued to fire shots after play, criticising Stokes and Australian legend Shane Warne in a bizarre post-match press conference, where he was wearing his pads and put his feet on the table.
“Marlon’s conduct after West Indies’ victory … showed a total disrespect for the game,” Stokes wrote. “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.”
Stokes also revealed what was said between the pair when West Indies were tottering at 14 for 3, chasing 156 in the World T20 final.
“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,” Stokes wrote. “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.”
The 25-year-old Stokes, who will be touring Bangladesh with the England One-Day International (ODI) side next month, also disclosed his disappointment following the dramatic loss in that final.
“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,” he wrote. “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.”