West Indies cricketer Marlon Samuels has been criticised for aiming an expletive-laden tirade at old rival Ben Stokes after a seemingly innocuous comment from the England all-rounder.
Samuels made racial remarks and a derogatory comment about Stokes’s wife in an Instagram post that former England captain Michael Vaughan called “appalling”.
“This is appalling @marlonsamuels… we are trying to stamp out racism,” Vaughan wrote on Instagram, calling Stokes’s original comments “a bit of banter”.
Australia spin legend Shane Warne said Samuels needed “serious help”.
“I’ve just been sent what Samuels has posted re @benstokes38 & I. It’s a very sad situation as he obviously needs serious help-but has no friends at all & not even his ex teammates like him,” Warne wrote on Twitter.
“Just because you were an ordinary cricketer-no need to be an ordinary person. Get help son.”
Stokes, playing in the Indian Premier League after visiting his father, who is battling cancer, in New Zealand, had said he would not wish the country’s mandatory 14-day quarantine on anyone — even Samuels, with whom he has a long history.
After Samuels’ post, and others by him targeting Stokes, the England player responded by adding more than a dozen pictures of the West Indian batsman to his Instagram story, without making any comment.
Their rivalry dates back to 2015, when Samuels mocked Stokes with a send-off salute in a Test match in Grenada. Samuels was also batting when Carlos Brathwaite hit four sixes off Stokes in the final over to win the 2016 Twenty World Cup.
On Sunday, Stokes hit form in the IPL with an unbeaten 107 to keep the Rajasthan Royals in the hunt for the play-offs.