Antigua: Figuring out a way to end West Indies` misery against India is not the only thought bothering Darren Sammy, the skipper is also busy refuting allegations that he discouraged some regional cricketers from attending last week`s Players` Association awards.
So disturbed has Sammy been with such reports that he has come out with a formal statement to deny the accusation, calling it a "falsehood" meant to "smear my character as an individual, a cricketer and West Indies captain".
West Indies Players Association (WIPA) President Dinanath Ramnarine reportedly criticised Sammy in a radio interview last week and the angry skipper, who is already fuming about his team`s poor performance in the ongoing ODI series against India, has hit back now.
"I wish to make it abundantly clear to the public that at no time did I discourage, dissuade or in any other way seek to influence any player`s non-attendance to the recently-held WIPA awards function," Sammy stated.
"Players made their own decisions not to attend."
Sammy said he for one did not attend due to "personal reasons".
"During the function, WIPA president and CEO Mr Dinanath Ramnarine, called me on the phone and said he was sending a car to the team hotel to pick me up. However, without waiting for a response from me, he hung up the phone.”
"I was unable to contact him to explain that I would not be able to attend as I had previously indicated to him," he explained.
Sammy said it was "not in my nature" to influence players while making such choices as attending award ceremonies. "Those who know me as a person can attest to this," the St Lucian all-rounder insisted.
"...despite criticisms, challenges and the like I have always remained true to the ideals of representing West Indies cricket when and wherever it is required of me," he said.
WIPA is almost always at loggerheads with the West Indies Cricket Board and their feud also affects the players` tilt.