By Neto Baptiste
Former CEO for Cricket West Indies (CWI), Michael Muirhead, believes discarded former captain Darren Sammy should be considered for selection once he meets the criteria set out by the selection panel.
The Jamaican admitted however that he would not personally push the envelope for the St. Lucian following the 2016 incident where Sammy launched a verbal attack against the regional board following the team’s historic World Twenty20 title triumph over England in Kolkata, India.
“That healing has taken place and he was brought into the fold when we had the women’s World T20 as an ambassador and he performed admirably and really delivered. Should he be banished for life? I say if he is good enough to make the team then yes, he can be considered but I wouldn’t go out of my way to do anything,” he said.
Muirhead who was speaking on Observer Radio’s Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, described the Kolkatta incident as the “most disappointing” in his time as CEO, adding that it marred what should have been a joyous occasion for the region and supporters of West Indies cricket.
“The most disappointing thing for me personally, and to this day, was the rhetoric which took place right after the men received the trophy. It hurt in a sense that I personally negotiated when they were in Dubai and we had many correspondents going back and forth about the situation and it got to a point where I said I would not email anymore and would now need to speak in person to Sam [Sammy],” the former CEO said.
“We spoke, we had it out on the phone for a while, and at the end of the conversation, I remember Sammy saying to me that he was happy we had the conversation,” he added.
Muirhead, who recently left the role as general manager for the Coolidge Cricket Ground, said he still has conversations between himself and Sammy indicating that the issues had, at that time, been resolved.
“There is an email I have till this day that says, now that we have resolved everything, we are going to get to the matter of playing cricket and getting the job done so to hear what happened on stage in front of billions of people, I was hurt because of that, that was really a depressing moment for me personally because I know where we were coming from,” he said.
Carlos Brathwaite hit four successive sixes off Ben Stokes in the last over as the Windies stunned England, with skipper Sammy saying his side had lifted the trophy in spite of the board.
Sammy said the team was faced with a number of issues going into the tournament and that their involvement had been in doubt because of a dispute with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) over pay before an eleventh-hour agreement was struck.