Fearing arrest, Samuels declined World Cup offer

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

NEW DELHI - Controversial West Indies batsman Marlon Samuels apparently rejected an offer to play in the World Cup as a replacement for injured Dwayne Bravo fearing that police officials might arrest him here over charges of match-fixing.

Noted commentator and columnist Tony Cozier wrote in Trinidad Express that the 30-year-old Jamaican, who is coming out of a two-year ban on charges of match fixing, was in good form and was West Indies Cricket Board’s (WICB) first choice replacement. But fearing arrests in India, Samuels declined the offer and Guyana leg-spinner Davendra Bishoo was selected as Bravo’s substitute.

Samuels returned to regional cricket for Jamaica in October and since then he has been the leading scorer in the Caribbean Twenty20 tournament in January and also tops the current four-day tournament batting.

He began the season with an unbeaten 250 against Guyana and has followed with hundreds against Barbados and against the Leeward Islands in the current season.

WICB corporate communications officer Imran Khan would neither confirm nor deny the report.

“All I can state what is already known, that Davendra Bishoo has been chosen as Dwayne Bravo’s replacement,” Khan was quoted as saying by the daily.

Clyde Butts, chairman of the West Indies selection panel also declined to comment on the matter.

Samuels was banned by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for two years in May 2006 for passing information on to an Indian bookmaker during an ODI in Nagpur. The evidence was supplied by the Delhi police through taped telephone conversations during a West Indies ODI series in India in 2007.

Cozier wrote that Samuel’s decision has now placed that hope in doubt, especially since the West Indies are scheduled for a tour of India in November and December.

Samuels has taken the same course as that of South African players Herschelle Gibbs and Nicky Boje who were both implicated in the match-fixing scandal that led to a life ban for the late captain, Hansie Cronje.

They chose not to return to India, for fear of arrest, until they were given assurances by the Indian police prior to their return for the 2006 Champions Trophy.

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