Mar­lon Sa­muels lacks re­spect — Stokes

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport -

BEN Stokes be­lieves Mar­lon Sa­muels “lacks re­spect” fol­low­ing the pair’s var­i­ous con­fronta­tions over the years.

A feisty, of­ten an­gry, ri­valry which be­gan with Sa­muels’ salut­ing Stokes af­ter a dis­missal in the Gre­nada Test in early 2015 fur­ther es­ca­lated dur­ing the World T20 fi­nal in Kolkata ear­lier this year when the pair went face-to-face in the mid­dle.

Sa­muels would end up fin­ish­ing un­beaten on 85, and earn the Man-of-the Match-award, while Car­los Braith­waite clubbed Stokes for four con­sec­u­tive sixes to seal the tro­phy.

Sa­muels, who was later fined 30 per­cent of his match fee for abu­sive lan­guage, fur­ther raised the ten­sion in the post-match press con­fer­ence by say­ing: “Stokes is a ner­vous lad­die…he doesn’t learn.”

In his au­to­bi­og­ra­phy, Firestarter: Me, Cricket and The Heat of the Mo­ment, which is be­ing se­ri­alised in the Daily Mail, Stokes makes clear that re­sent­ment re­mains strong.

“Mar­lon Sa­muels lacks re­spect. You get that if you have spent any time with him on a cricket field. Mar­lon’s con­duct af­ter West Indies’ vic­tory over us in this year’s World Twenty20 fi­nal showed a to­tal dis­re­spect for the game.

“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.”

Re­call­ing how the ten­sions rose early in West Indies’ run chase, af­ter they had been re­duced to 14 for 3, Stokes writes:

“His man­ner­isms got me in­volved with Mar­lon. 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. 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 bitch,’ came the re­ply.”

It ap­peared Stokes would be able to have the fi­nal say, how­ever, when he had 19 to de­fend off the fi­nal over to earn Eng­land their sec­ond World T20 ti­tle. But he be­gan with a poor leg­side de­liv­ery to Brath­waite, which was swung over deep square leg, and three balls later it was all over, leav­ing Stokes dis­traught, on his knees, in the mid­dle of Eden Gar­dens.

“It was a numb feel­ing. I felt hol­low,” he writes. “My Eng­land team-mates 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.

“I knew the cam­eras would be all over me to see how I was hold­ing up. I may have looked OK. That was an act. I was gut­ted. Do not show it, keep your head up — Joe Root had said ex­actly that to me more than once as I crouched mo­tion­less on the square.

“In the af­ter­math, it was nat­u­ral to ques­tion my meth­ods. I won­dered whether things might have been dif­fer­ent had I plumped for four slower balls. The an­swer was no. My re­gret was ex­e­cu­tion, not se­lec­tion.” — ESPNCricinfo

Mar­lon Sa­muels

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