I was made a scapegoat by ICC, claims Samuels


Sydney : West Indies batsman Marlon Samuels feels he was made a “scapegoat” by the International Cricket Council (ICC) as he nears completion of the two-year ban for leaking team information to a bookie.

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In three days, Samuels will complete his ban from international cricket, and he maintains he did nothing wrong.

“I am an honest person. My conscience would not allow me to come back if I knew within myself I had done something wrong,” Samuels was quoted as saying in Sydney Morning Herald.

“They (ICC) need to spend time on situations like this, it is delicate and very important because you are dealing with players’ careers.”

“When they looked at my case, they used me as a scapegoat, the ICC wanted to make an example out of me when I was never in a position for them to be able to use me as an example. The way they dealt with my case was very unfair,” he said.

“I really didn’t have a case; when I went to the hearing I thought it would be just a fair process but it wasn’t like a hearing at all, I was just banned.”

Samuels was charged with playing a part in fixing the first One Day International between India and the West Indies in Nagpur January 21, 2007. The allegations led to the ICC asking the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) to conduct an investigation.

At the disciplinary hearing, the committee considered evidence provided by the ICC’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) and excerpts of a recorded telephone conversation between Samuels and alleged bookie Mukesh Kochchar which detailed vital match information being leaked by Samuels.

Samuels was accused of leaking information like pitch conditions, the West Indies batting order and team strategies.

The 29-year-old won’t predict if or when he might appear for the West Indies again but says: “I’ll just let my bat do the talking.”