England cricketer Ben Stokes has lashed out at West Indies all-rounder Marlon Samuels, saying that he "did not like the latter one bit" and that he "does not respect the game".
Stokes, who is part of the England Test and ODI squads for the upcoming tour of Bangladesh, did not mince words in his autobiography Firestarter: Me, Cricket and the Heat of the Moment, an extract of which was published British tabloid The Daily Mail.
"Marlon’s conduct after West Indies’ victory over us in this year’s World Twenty20 final showed a total disrespect for the game.
"It didn’t require him to give me a character assassination — bizarrely claiming I am some sort of ‘nervous laddie’ — to help me form the opinion that I do not like him one bit. I believe in the saying ‘respect the game’. I don’t think he respects the game," wrote Stokes.
The duo have shared cold vibes since England's Test tour of the West Indies in 2015, in which Samuels sent Stokes off towards the pavilion with a mock salute during the 2nd Test in Grenada.
Things got worse during the final of the ICC World T20, in which Stokes and Samuels exchanged verbal volleys.
Samuels later lambasted the New Zealand-born all-rounder during the post-match press conference, in which he famously entered with his pads on and rested his legs on the table, describing him as a "nervous laddie" and someone who "doesn't learn".
"With his feet still on the table rather than under it, he claimed ‘Stokes never learns’ after our on‑field exchanges during that final. Hang on. I was not the one fined 30 per cent of my match fee for using offensive language.
"Any verbals from me that evening had been in the heat of battle and were intended to gee up my team," wrote Stokes in his column recounting the incident.
The Durham all-rounder even elaborated on the exchange between him and the Jamaican in the tournament final.
"I was at mid-off and, in my enthusiasm, found myself creeping in from my position and I noticed that Samuels, at the non-striker’s end, was walking around like the big easy. I couldn’t resist.
"‘You’ve got a bit of a swagger on here, Marlon, considering you’re 14 for three,’ I said. ‘Shut the f*** up, you little bitch,’ came the reply."
West Indies managed to outwit England in the World T20 final by four wickets, with Carlos Brathwaite hammering four consecutive sixes off Stokes in the final over to help his side lift the trophy for the second time.
In the excerpt, Stokes went on to describe his emotions during and after the last four deliveries of the final.
"As far as the World Twenty20 final is concerned, people will talk about Carlos Brathwaite hitting me for four consecutive sixes for the rest of my life. I can deal with that. What I couldn’t handle was losing the game.
"It was a numb feeling. I felt hollow. My England team-mates were the ones I had affected most with those four deliveries. We had gone all the way to the tournament’s final over. But in a flash, all that hard graft had come to nothing.
"In the aftermath, people kept asking: ‘Will you bowl the death over again?’ It didn’t need much thought. One hundred per cent I will.
It was natural to question my methods. I wondered whether things might have been different had I plumped for four slower balls. The answer was no. My regret was execution, not selection."