Samuels glad to be back

Marlon Samuels is targeting a West
Indies comeback after completing a two-year suspension from cricket.

He was banned for passing on team
information to a bookmaker during a one-day series in India in January 2007,
but still denies any wrongdoing. After making a half century for Jamaica
against the United States on Saturday, the 29-year-old said: “I’m in good nick.
I’m just looking to continue scoring runs and hope my runs will put where I
deserve to be.”

Samuels hit the ball well for 52 off
61 balls in Jamaica’s Twenty20 victory, a day after making 11 in a 50-over
match in Florida. He was not allowed to play at any level of cricket during his
ban, and admitted: “It was tough, but at the end of the day, the Almighty
doesn’t give anyone a challenge that they can’t bear. It was most definitely
unfair but I have to put that behind me and move forward.

“My love for the game kept me going,
my love for the game is never dying so I just continued to practice and work as
hard as possible. I knew the ban would come to an end and I would come back and
carry on where I left off.”

He added that he had continued to work
on his skills during his time out of the game. “I have my own personal bowling
machine, and I also have never had a shortage of people who would come and bowl
to me.”

With the West Indies struggling for
runs at present, Samuels could be in line for a quick return to the team,
captained by fellow Jamaican Chris Gayle. “Encouragement is always there,”
Samuels added. “Chris is my best friend, we keep communicating and talk about
cricket continuously. West Indies aren’t doing well at the moment but we can
only improve.”

Samuels hit the ball well for 52 off
61 balls in Jamaica’s Twenty20 victory, a day after making 11 in a 50-over
match in Florida.

Sports story

Marlon Samuels returns to cricket.
Photo: File
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