Former England cricketer Mark Nicholas tendered an unconditional apology to victorious West Indies captain Darren Sammy and his players on Monday for his comments that cricketers from the Caribbean are 'short of brains'.
An angry and emotional Sammy made it clear that Nicholas's remarks in his column, written before the World T20 started, were not in good taste and spurred the team during the thrilling victory over England in the World T20 final.
Nicholas, in his defence, said he did not term the West Indies as ‘brainless’, as it is being perceived, but did admit writing ‘something unworthy of the game and disrespectful to a great cricketing legacy’.
"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," Nicholas wrote in his column for a cricket website.
"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 have celebrated long into the night and well into today. The spirit of the romantics will be with them and from thousands of miles away the rest of us can almost taste the rum, feel its punch and dream of the day when we return to the lapping shores of those incomparable islands."
Nicholas went on to explain his comments, which he said were unsolicited and unwarranted.
"Clearly, the West Indies team is not ‘short of brains’. I wrote this in a piece that was mainly about India and Mahendra Singh 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.
"My thought was based on a) what I had seen in Australia, first during the World Cup and then during the recent Test matches against the Australians, when the admirable Jason Holder received scant support from influential players around him, and then b) on the fact that many West Indians know their way around the Indian Premier League, which must be useful. But it was a throwaway, not a considered judgement, and frankly, pretty damn lazy because it did not take account of the different personnel," wrote Nicholas.
"I regret it and apologise for it."