Samuels to return for Abu Dhabi T10 league

By Sports Desk October 24, 2019
Windies batsman Marlon Samuels. Windies batsman Marlon Samuels.

Veteran Windies batsman Marlon Samuels will make a return to competitive cricket alongside a host of compatriots in the Abu Dhabi T10 league, which is set to bowl off in December.

The 38-year-old batsman has been out of the game for several months after taking time off to rehabilitate a troublesome knee injury.  Samuels is now slated to make a return for the Karnataka Tuskers, where he will line up alongside Kesrick Williams, Evin Lewis, Johnson Charles, and Fabian Allen.

Fresh from the disappointment of being overlooked for The Hundred draft experienced T20 campaigner Dwayne Bravo is expected to turn out for Martha Arabians alongside Jamaican Chadwick Walton.

Newly appointed Windies T20 captain Kieron Pollard   Kieron Pollard will suit up for the Deccan Gladiators, with Sherfane Rutherford expected to turn out for the Delhi Bulls.  The Northern Warriors, led by Darren Sammy, has the most West Indians in their set-up, with the likes of André Russell, Nicholas Pooran, Lendl Simmons, Rayad Emrit, and Mark Deyal set to lead their charge.

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    In the end, the West Indies coasted to the line, in fairly comfortable fashion, with some 41 balls left, but at times the result had not always seemed like a foregone conclusion. 

    With the ball, the team put in a dominant performance and restricted Sri Lanka to 131 for 9 at the end of 20 overs.  In response, things also got off to a flyer with openers Evin Lewis (28) and Lendl Simmons (18) putting on 52 for the first wicket.  However, following the dismissal of Lewis, by Akila Dananjaya, in the third over, the team found itself in a real instance of concern with a flurry of lost wickets.  Dananjaya took a sensational hat-trick removing big hitters Chris Gayle and Nicholas Pooran for ducks.  Simmons departed the very next over to leave the West Indies struggling at 62 for 4.  /a captain’s innings from Pollard (38), which included a savage 6 sixes off Dananjaya, however, went a long way to restoring the situation.  Jason Holder, who added a resilient, unbeaten 29 from 24 balls, safely carried the team over the line following Pollard's dismissal. 

    “The objective was to win the game and we did that, obviously there’s a couple of kinks to iron out, we have not played T20 cricket in a while. We had a couple of guys coming back into the set-up as well so we’ll take the win and have discussions about how we want to continue playing," Pollard said.

    “In terms of the batting collapse we have had, we have seen that but what is good is that this time around we got over the line with the experienced guys like Jason, using all his Test experience, Bravo using his experience as well.  Having said that, well done to the openers for the start that they gave us, so we were able to cruise on the back end.”

     

     

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    With the return of veteran batsman Chris Gayle and pace bowler Fidel Edwards, along with the likes of Dwayne Bravo, Lendl Simmons, Jason Holder, and Pollard himself, to call upon, the West Indies has plenty of firepower to begin the series against Sri Lanka and build-up to the ICC World Cup, which will be held in India, in October.

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  • 'I'm never going to down WI cricket' - star batsman Gayle admits he contemplated retirement before receiving call-up 'I'm never going to down WI cricket' - star batsman Gayle admits he contemplated retirement before receiving call-up

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    Gayle, now 41, had initially announced his intention to retire following the 2019 ICC World Cup.  The player then targeted the One Day International series against India, shortly after the World Cup, as possibly his final hurrah.  Following a standing ovation received following the series, the batsman seemed to have a change of heart.

    Two years later, however, the batsman has found himself in fine form and, on the back of an outstanding IPL campaign for Punjab Kings, could once again prove a major force for the West Indies with the ICC World T20 tournament on the horizon.  As such, the player was recalled to the T20 squad as the team begins a series of matches that will lead up to defending its title in India.

    “Back then I thought about actually walking away from the game and people said, no, don’t do it, stay and play for as long as possible.  I decided I would actually continue playing the game of cricket,” Gayle told members of the media via a Zoom press conference on Tuesday.

    “I wasn’t looking down this road.  I thought of playing franchise cricket and exploiting my talent to entertain the people as much as possible.  When I got the call and they asked if I was willing and interested, I said yes. Once I’m playing for the West Indies that’s where my heart is.  I’m never going to turn down anything pertaining to West Indies cricket,” he added.

    “I decided I was full-on, I was actually in a tournament and they said ‘you know Chris this is the structure we have in place, so we need you to be a part of it, we need you to fit into what is basically set for the team, so I basically agreed to it.  I came back from Pakistan to be part of the set-up leading into the World Cup.”   

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