The team, which secured an emotional four-wicket victory in the final against England, had come close to withdrawing from the tournament before a ball had been bowled, due to a long-running contract dispute with the WICB.
In a speech on the podium in Kolkata, prior to accepting the trophy, West Indies’ captain Darren Sammy turned on the board in a highly politicised speech in which he thanked his team-mates, the team’s supporters and the heads of CARICOM – in particular Keith Mitchell, the Prime Minister of Grenada, who helped to broker a last-minute deal – but added that no one from the board had been in touch in spite of their team’s triumph.
“People were wondering whether we would play this tournament,” Sammy said during the live TV broadcast. “We had a lot of issues, we felt disrespected by our board … I’m yet to hear from [them]. That is very disappointing.”
Sammy’s stance was echoed by his team-mates, among them Dwayne Bravo, who went on to describe the WICB as the “most unprofessional” board in the world. The board president, Dave Cameron, Bravo added, was “immature”, “small-minded” and “arrogant”.
However the ICC board, which met in Dubai on Sunday, reserved its congratulations for the WICB, whose teams completed an “unprecedented treble” in also securing the Women’s World T20 and the Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh that took place in February.
Instead, the ICC turned on the West Indies players, describing their comments as “inappropriate, disrespectful and [bringing] the event into disrepute”. Serious consideration, it added, had been given to levelling Code of Conduct charges against the players, which could have resulted in fines and/or bans.
“The board considered the behaviour of some of the West Indies players in the immediate aftermath of the final, and unanimously agreed that certain comments and actions were inappropriate, disrespectful and brought the event into disrepute,” read an ICC press release.
“This was not acceptable conduct at ICC events played out on a world stage in front of millions of people around the globe.
“The board acknowledged an apology by the WICB but was disappointed to note that such behaviour had detracted from the success of what was otherwise a magnificent tournament and final.”
Marlon Samuels, West Indies’ player of the final, was also singled out for tacit criticism by Shashank Manohar, the ICC chairman, after his ungracious remarks in the aftermath of victory, not least his disparaging comments about England’s Ben Stokes.
“The sport of cricket is proud of its unique spirit and this involves being gracious in victory as well as defeat and respectful at all times to the game, one’s opponents, the sponsors and the fans,” Manohar said.
The ICC also praised the BCCI for its staging of the event, in spite of numerous logistical issues including the relocation of India’s group-stage match with Pakistan and doubts as to whether Delhi’s Feroz Shah Kotla stadium would be cleared to host the first semi-final between England and New Zealand.
“The Board also complemented the BCB [hosts of the Under-19 World Cup] and the BCCI for the successful staging of these events and also thanked its broadcasters, commercial partners, fans and media for their support in making these events a success from a fan engagement perspective.