Former England cricketer Mark Nicholas on Monday tendered an unconditional apology to victorious West Indies captain Darren Sammy and his players for his comments that the cricketers from the Caribbean are "short of brains".
An angry and emotional Sammy had made it clear that the Nocholas' remarks in his column which was written before the World T20 started was not in good taste and it spurred his team during their thrilling win in the World T20 final against England.
Nicholas in his defence said that he did not term West Indies as "brainless" as it was 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 the ESPNCricinfo.
"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 MS 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 a) on 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 IPL, 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."