KINGSTON – Marlon Samuels has had an outstanding 18 months since returning to the maroon of the West Indies.
His excellent batting form culminated in a match- winning innings on Sunday that saw the West Indies lift the ICC World T20 title for the first time and achieve a first international trophy since winning the 2004 Champions League tournament in England. Now, Samuels says he wants to conquer the world of Test cricket.
“I want to be number one and I will continue to work hard because I want to be number one before I finish,” Samuels said.
“I have a lot of plans and the bar continues to rise, especially when I achieve my goals. So what I can say is look out for a more mature cricketer, and an improved cricketer, and I will just continue to work as hard as possible,” he added.
Samuels has so far played 39 Test matches with an average of 32.83. He has made three hundreds and 15 fifties with a top score of 117.He is, however, looking forward to making his first double and triple century in the near future.
“The world hasn’t seen a double century or a triple century from me as yet, so look forward for them and as soon as possible,” Samuels stated.
“Every time I talk things before, it happens, so you can see by now I like to put myself under pressure – that’s how I bring out the best in me,” he added.
Samuels served a two-year ban from cricket between 2008 and 2010, after Indian police accused him of giving out team information to a known bookie prior to the first one-day international between the West Indies and India in Nagpur on January 21, 2007.
“For you to have been playing something since age 12 and then for someone to tell you that you can’t play for two years, words can’t explain how tough that is, but nevertheless I am back with my first love, which is cricket,” Samuels shared.
“I always loved Test cricket and I continue to love Test cricket. The T20 is exciting, brings a lot of new fans, but Test cricket continues to keep the older people. I think you are more recognised in the world as a Test cricketer,” he added
Samuels made 78 runs and took one for 15 in the 36-run victory over hosts Sri Lanka in the T20 World Cup final to emerge as the hero and Man of the Match.
On Chris Gayle’s return, he said: “Gayle’s return has been more than just a plus for the West Indies team; he has been explosive at the top of the order and that is definitely what we were looking for when he was away,” Samuels said.
“But he is back and he is definitely setting the tone for the rest of the batsmen to come.”