Sammy: Criticism, off-field issues brought Windies team together
Darren Sammy hailed his West Indies team for putting off-field issues and criticism of their performances to one side by regaining the World Twenty20 title.
A stunning cameo from Carlos Brathwaite, who struck four successive sixes off Ben Stokes in the final over to finish unbeaten on 34 from 10 deliveries, enabled the Windies to beat England by four wickets in a thrilling final at Eden Gardens.
Brathwaite's heroics came after Marlon Samuels had underpinned West Indies' pursuit of 156 with an unbeaten 85 - breaking his own record for the highest score in a World T20 final.
A delighted Sammy, who also captained the Windies to glory in 2012, insisted he always believed his men would prevail on Sunday.
Yet the skipper took the opportunity to make his displeasure with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) clear as he reflected on a pre-tournament dispute, while broadcaster and journalist Mark Nicholas was again referred to as a source of inadvertent inspiration.
"When we left [for the tournament] I said we had 15 match-winners and nobody gave us a chance," said Sammy at the post-match presentation.
"We started a journey, we all know people were wondering whether we would play this tournament. We had a lot of issues, we felt disrespected by our board, Mark Nicholas described our team as a team with no greats, and all these things before the tournament brought this team together.
"I just want to thank these 15 men, the ability to put all those adversities to one side and play this kind of cricket in front of such passionate fans is just tremendous.
"I personally want to thank the coaching staff, coach Phil [Simmons] has been through a lot so to come here and coach the team the way he has is just brilliant. I've got to give credit to the entire team here, it was our own little circle."
"This win we dedicate to all the fans in the Caribbean."
Sammy said it was "very disappointing" that he had not heard from the WICB ahead of the final and added: "I don't know when I'm going to play with these guys again because we don't get selected for one-day cricket, we don't know when we'll be playing T20.
"So thank you my team, thank you coaching staff, everybody in the West Indies is a champion."