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Jamaican Marlon Samuels draws stumps

By Neil-Monticelli Harley-Rüdd
BNeil-Monticelli Harley-Rüdd
BNeil-Monticelli Harley-Rüdd

Marlon Samuels, the Jamaican all-rounder who was last seen on the pitch by fans in December 2018, has announced his retirement from professional cricket.

However, the controversial 39-year-old took to Instagram last week to leave some parting shots.

He hit out at former Australia spinner Shane Warne and England’s Ben Stokes, following his long-standing feud with the pair, as well as slamming unnamed West Indies players.

Kingston-born Samuels, who won two ICCC World Twenty20 finals in 2012 and 2016 respectively, was a stylish middle order batsman who bowled right arm off-breaks but who constantly ruffled feathers during his career.

Failure to live up to his initial potential as a natural stroke player, which had earned him a call-up to the Windies side in 2000, together with twice being banned for alleged illegal bowling action, resulted in frustration off the pitch. A number of his actions thereafter baffled those involved in the sport, including former players working in the media.

The Kingston College graduate was also handed a two-year ban by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for allegedly receiving money, or a “benefit”, which could bring the sport into disrepute.

The One Day International (ODI) competition at least holds better memories for Samuels, having skippered the Windies at this level. He  holds the record for the highest run partnership in the format after amassing 372 against Zimbabwe with fellow Jamaican Chris Gayle during the 2015 World Cup.

Samuels was sidelined with a recurring knee injury since playing against Bangladesh two years ago, and he was omitted from the 15-strong squad for the ICC World Cup in April 2019.

With more than 10,000 runs for the Windies (17 centuries) and taking 152 wickets with his rapid off-breaks, Samuels was a talent on the pitch but some say a loose cannon off it.

Following his 2016 accolades from the West Indies Cricket Board as both ODI Player of the Year and the Cricketer of the Year, he failed to shine as brightly as anticipated and gradually faded from the international scene.