St John's (Antigua): Batting great Viv Richards has come out in support of Darren Sammy after West Indies Twenty20 skipper criticised the Cricket Board (WICB) for its lack of support during their triumphant campaign at the World T20 in India.
Sammy had lashed out at the WICB during the post-match ceremony after winning the World T20 title last Sunday, saying the Caribbean team felt "disrespected" by the Board's attitude after they won the trophy for a record second time.
"I don't think Sammy would be a liar. I think Sammy is as honest as they come so it is going to be quite interesting, going forward, to see and to hear exactly what comes from the board," said Richards, who never lost a Test series as the West Indies captain.
"Sammy did what he had to do. It was on his mind and you could see what he said meant a lot; it came from the heart. In my mind, it looked like something planned," he told the 'Observer' newspaper.
"Anyone who knows Darren Sammy knows that he is an individual and how he would have led the West Indies cricket from his very start as captain, and sees how committed he is. So I am pleased, in a big way, that he was able to get it off his chest."
Sammy was at the centre of a bitter feud between the players and the WICB over remuneration for the tournament. As players' representative, Sammy labelled the pay offered by the WICB as "totally unacceptable".
The West Indies created history at the World Twenty20 when both men's and women's teams won the titles. While the women team stunned three-time defending champions Australia by eight wickets, the Sammy-led men's side won their second World T20 title by beating England by four wickets in a sensational last over finish.
Richards feels that the WICB needs to harness these achievements, including the success of the Under-19 team at the Youth World Cup earlier this year, in a positive way.
"There are some hungry folks out there and especially with the excitement with what would have been created from the three versions like the Under-19, the women's factor then the men doing what they did on Sunday," Richards said.
"The interest would certainly be there, so we need to try and get into some areas where we haven't tapped before to try and find some of these fast bowlers that maybe, can help to make a difference in the future. I don't think enough of that would have been done in the past," he said.