WINDIES BATSMAN MAKES ELITE SQUAD
West Indies middle-order batsman Marlon Samuels has been named as one of Wisden’s Five Cricketers-of-the-Year.
The 32-year-old Jamaican has received the prestigious recognition along with England batsman Nick Compton and the South African triumvirate of Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis and Dale Steyn.
Samuels becomes the first West Indian in five years to receive recognition by Wisden as one of its five Cricketers-of-the-Year.
Fellow West Indies batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul and, ironically, current West Indies coach Ottis Gibson were on that previous list.One of the highlights of the year for Samuels was his match-winning innings of 78 from 56 balls that led West Indies to the ICC World Twenty20 title.In three Tests in England, he only failed to pass 50 once in five innings and he also continued his fine form with the bat on the tour of Bangladesh, where he collected his highest Test score of 260 at Khulna.Overall, he scored 866 runs including three hundreds and four 50s in seven Tests at an average of 53.27 last year, and 482 runs including two hundreds in 17 One-Day Internationals at an average of 32.13.
New President of the West Indies Cricket Board Dave Cameron said he was overjoyed about the announcement.
“On behalf of the WICB, I want to congratulate Marlon on this recognition as one of the five best players in the World during the last year by this widely respected publication which has been described as ‘The Bible’ of our great sport,” said Cameron.
“This award caps a remarkable year for Marlon. It is a defining achievement for which he deserves many compliments not only from me, but all West Indians, fans of West Indies cricket and followers of our game.”
Cameron said Samuels’ selection as one of the five Wisden Cricketers-of-the-Year was also a clear signal that he had now truly become an elite player.
“It’s been a long road for Marlon and this past year has seen him do justice to the immense talent which we all know he possesses,” said the new WICB President.
“For us, it’s another opportunity to celebrate his outstanding performances over the last year which has helped to stabilise the West Indies team and project it on an upward growth path.”
Cameron said he considered this recognition for Samuels to be also critically important to the development of the West Indies team.
“It not only gives Marlon, but the other players on the team another reason to vigorously pursue excellence as we all strive to revive the fortunes of this glorious game in the Caribbean,” he said.
“To Marlon, please continue the good work and we look forward to more memorable performances from you.” (windiescricket)††