Samuels opts out as WI players retain lawyers for battle ahead
West Indies players who controversially abandoned the tour of India last week have retained legal counsel as they prepare to tackle the contentious Collective Bargaining Agreement signed by their union, West Indies Players’ Association (WIPA), but batsman Marlon Samuels has opted not to pursue this course of action along with his team-mates.
This was confirmed in a release on Friday by ODI captain Dwayne Bravo, who is also acting as a spokesman for the aggrieved players, reports CMC. Samuels said earlier this week he was not supportive on the decision to abandon the tour and had hardly attended any of the players meetings on the troubled tour.
However, Bravo rebutted Samuels’ claims, contending the Jamaican right-hander was a vocal part of the meetings held. ‘I note the comments attributed to Mr. Marlon Samuels from media reports and wish to state that Mr. Samuels was invited to and did attend the majority of meetings with the players on tour,’ Bravo said.
‘We extended an invitation to Mr. Marlon Samuels with the full knowledge that he is not a member of WIPA but was an interested party. Mr. Samuels contributed vigorously to the discussions held and indicated clearly, at that time, that he would stand with any decision taken by the team. I am therefore shocked to see the statements, if true, that have been attributed to Mr. Samuels.’ Bravo stressed that while he had undertaken the role of spokesman for the players, all correspondence during that period had been issued with the full backing of the players. The senior all-rounder said the playing group had been boosted by the widespread support they had received, though they had also received criticism in some quarters.
‘We recognise that a few have attempted to put the blame squarely on the players without the full knowledge of the facts. This is regrettable since a few persons are making statements without knowing all the relevant facts. In time we believe all the facts will come to light. We do not wish to make any further statements on this matter since the players on tour (except Mr. Samuels) with some additional players who did not tour India have appointed Counsel to represent them in this matter,’ Bravo said.