Anger drives Samuels

shadiasimpson, shadiasimpson@nationnews.com

Added 18 October 2012

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KINGSTON – West Indies batsman Marlon Samuels says he has used anger as a source of motivation to help rekindle his international cricket career following a two-year ban. Samuels says he still carries “a lot of anger” after he was banned for two years in 2008 for “receiving money, or benefit or other reward that could bring him or the game of cricket into disrepute”. The Jamaican cricketer has experienced a revival in his career after being reinstated in the team in 2011, culminating in the Man-of-the-Match winning performance in the World Twenty20 final earlier this month. “I carry it with me. It helps to motivate me. It stems from the two years I was away. “When you see my face on the field, and I look angry, that means I am really focused. I am in my zone then,” Samuels told the Indian Express. “Once the match is over, I love to have a drink or two and laugh a lot. Chris (Gayle) and I sit around and talk a lot of rubbish. All day long, and all night long. But once I cross the ropes and get on to the field, it’s war”. Before the suspension, Samuels’ average crossed the 30-mark only in ODIs. In the 13 Tests since his return, he has averaged 50.25 and has also improved his ODI and Twenty20 averages. He has struck three centuries in all formats since his return. “There’s not much I have changed about my cricket. It’s the mindset that has changed. I have had many ups and downs, and I have fought through,” Samuels said. “If I wasn’t strong enough, I would have given up the game a long time back. And now the time is here to express myself in the best way possible. I am playing free cricket and that’s what is helping me now.” Samuels has resurfaced as a reliable player in crucial roles that have taken the Windies out of fragile positions as was seen during some of the matches in Sri Lanka. Samuels said he was aware of his responsibility in the team which was to construct a base for the middle-order. “It’s all about picturizing every situation possible on the eve of the match; good and bad,” he said. “So that when you face them during the match, you are ready to overcome them. I call it playing the game before it starts.” (CMC)

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