Sammy and Windies receive apology from Nicholas


Journalist and former batsman Mark Nicholas has apologised to West Indies for his criticism following their World Twenty20 triumph.

Nicholas irked the Windies by claiming they are "short of brains" when assessing their chances of recapturing the World Twenty20 trophy ahead of the tournament in India.

Captain Darren Sammy revealed the comments were used as inspiration by the Caribbean side, who claimed a thrilling four-wicket victory over England in the final on Sunday.

The journalist and broadcaster accepted he was wrong to use the phrase, issuing an unreserved apology to Sammy and his Windies team after their triumphant finish.

"The first thing is to loudly applaud West Indies cricket on a golden day," Nicholas wrote in his ESPNcricinfo column.

"The women were magnificent. The men more than matched them. The finish was a miracle: a thing of devastating power, of a certain beauty, and of destiny.

"The second thing is to say that the West Indies cricketers who beat England in Kolkata and triumphantly lifted the World T20 play smart cricket that is both entertaining and hard to resist. 

"The third is to offer an unreserved apology to Darren Sammy, a man I hold in the highest regard, to his team and to the coaches around them for the throwaway phrase I used in a recent column on these pages.

"I would have made the same apology whatever the results of the day but I do so now in the knowledge that the people of the Caribbean will be celebrating long into the night.

"Clearly, the West Indies team is not 'short of brains'. I wrote this in a piece that was mainly about India and MS Dhoni and, partly tongue in cheek, exaggerated a likely 'triumph' - as in the ancient history of the Roman Empire. In picking a winner, I could see no further than the hosts.

"I did not say West Indies were "brainless" or had "no brains", as has been misquoted elsewhere, but I did say something unworthy of the game and disrespectful to a great cricketing legacy.

"I regret it and apologise for it."