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Skipper welcomes Samuels

marciadottin, [email protected]

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KINGSTON – Jamaica captain Tamar Lambert has welcomed the return of stylish batsman Marlon Samuels for the Caribbean Twenty20 Tournament which bowls off in Barbados on Thursday. The 29-year-old Samuels was included in a 14-man squad for the July 22 to 31 tournament, following a two-year ban.“It is always good to have Marlon in the team. He has been training very hard to get back into the team and with his experience in the middle-order, it will help to strengthen the batting,” said Lambert, surprisingly chosen to lead the squad instead of West Indies captain Chris Gayle.“We have some very experienced players in the team and everyone will have a part to play if we are to do well in the Caribbean T20.”The outing will be Samuels’ first in a regional tournament since his exile for breaching International Cricket Council rules relating to “receiving money, benefit or other reward which could bring him or the game of cricket into disrepute”.Lambert was on Wednesday appointed to lead the squad, sparking speculation over Gayle’s future as captain of the national and regional teams.However, the 28-year-old said preparations had been going well for the tournament, in which Jamaica would do battle in Zone A with Trinidad and Tobago, Leeward Islands, and Canada. “Everything has gone very well so far  . . . . We are getting everything in place. When we reach Barbados, we mean business,” he said.“We have been working really hard. The 14 players have been selected now and our physical trainer has been putting us through our paces.“We have a few games this weekend and we will try to get everything ready so [that] when we get to Barbados we will be in good stead,” Lambert added.“ We are focused on doing very well and ultimately winning.” (CMC)