Samuels may be cleared to play for West Indies


Melbourne : With the International Cricket Council (ICC) all set to review his case, banned all rounder Marlon Samuels may get a chance to play for the West Indies in the one-day series against Australia.

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Samuels has been banned for two years by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) for his alleged dealings with an Indian gambler in 2006 and the ICC will review the decision later Wednesday, potentially paving the way for the batsman to resume his place in the national team.

According to a report in The Age, Samuels and his legal team insist that the suspension imposed by the WICB was unjust, and will not stand up when reviewed by the ICC’s code of conduct commission chairman, Michael Belhoff.

Even if Belhoff upholds the board’s ruling, Samuels’ lawyers will file for a judicial review in the Antiguan courts, along with an injunction that would allow him to play while the matter is being considered.

“I want to get started right away. I have already wasted too much time. I am at the top of my game right now, and I need to start playing as soon as possible. If it could be (the series against Australia), that would be fantastic,” Samuels was quoted as saying by the daily.

Samuels’ lawyers have filed a submission to the ICC that includes a written statement from him, transcripts of media interviews conducted by Richie Richardson (a member of the WICB’s four-man disciplinary committee) and a letter from Aubrey Bishop, the sole dissenter on the WICB’s disciplinary committee.

Samuels’ statement reaffirms that his relationship with Indian gambler Mukesh Kochar was above board, and that the payment made to the cricketer was intended as a loan. Kochar settled a $1,238 room bill at a Mumbai hotel on Samuels’ behalf when the player’s credit card was declined.

But Indian police have tapped telephone conversations between the duo discussing team information – including bowling changes and selections – before a one-day international in Nagpur.

But the most powerful component of the submission appears to be the fact that Richardson suggested he had been coerced into handing down a guilty verdict.