|Posted by anccricket on October 30, 2008 at 1:47 AM|
Full name Marlon Nathaniel Samuels
Born January 5, 1981, Kingston, Jamaica
Major teams West Indies, Jamaica
Playing role Batsman
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm offbreak
Relation Brother - RG Samuels
Marlon Samuels is a right-hander of immense ability, whose composed start to his Test career prompted unfair comparisons with Viv Richards. When Samuels flew into Australia for the third Test of the 2000-01 series, he was only 19 and had yet to represent his native Jamaica in a first-class match.
His technique was near to faultless: perfectly balance, standing utterly still at the crease, moving smoothly into his strokes off either foot. His undistinguished offspin also claimed a couple of wickets, though his action would later be called into question. He exudes a bull-headed confidence - he used to skip his schoolwork on the basis that exams were irrelevant to future Test cricketers.
That confidence, which often overflowed into perceived arrogance, almost got him sent home from India late in 2002 after he defied a team curfew - but he was kept on, and responded with his a disciplined maiden Test century in Kolkata. But he struggled with both form and injury, and was dropped after two poor home Tests against Sri Lanka in 2003.
He made a comeback for the tour of Australia in 2005-06 but didn't contribute anything of substance in the two Tests he played. An 87 in the third Test against India in May raised hopes of a revival but runs continued to elude him in the ODI format. The drought continued in the 2006-07 season - he passed 15 only once in 12 games but, out of the blue came, the stunning unbeaten hundred against Pakistan in December 2006. In the next five games, leading to his selection to the World Cup, he compiled 216 runs with a match-winning 98, against India when West Indies chased down 268, being the standout knock.
However, just before his selection, he was drawn into a major controversy after Nagpur police alleged that he passed on match-related information to an alleged bookie ahead of an ODI against India. He was included in the World Cup squad despite the ICC's investigations into the issue, where he only briefly shone, ending the tournament by running out Brian Lara in his last international innings. He lost his place for the England tour that followed but was given a lifeline when he was recalled following injury to the captain, Ramnaresh Sarwan. He was subsequently called up to their Twenty20 World Championship squad in South Africa in September.
There were signs of a growing maturity in his batsmanship, but the match-fixing allegations reared its head in 2008 when he was found guilty of "receiving money, or benefit or other reward that could bring him or the game of cricket into disrepute." Samuels was subsequently banned for two years, at a time when West Indies desperately needed solidity in their middle-order.