Windies player Samuels keen on making a return

Published: Thursday, September 29, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Trinidad:The Jamaica and West Indies middle-order batsman, in spite of his abundant talent, has been unable to hold down a permanent place in West Indies teams - Test and One-Dayers because of injury problems and what some suggest is a a personality problem.

Before leaving last week for the pre-Australia tour training camp in Barbados, Samuels told the Observer that health-wise "I am in quite good shape mentally and physically."

Samuels declared that he was focused "and steadily preparing for the challenge which lies ahead in establishing my professional cricketing career. The effort is to realise my ambition as a West Indies cricketer of the highest calibre".

The stylish 24-year-old batsman said he was working on "three key aspects" of his game. He identified them as "personality; that is my mental aptitude, social awareness and my physical conditioning".

On the physical side, he said that a troublesome knee, which has dogged his career at the international level, has settled down.

"I have not felt any signs of discomfort of late. I am not getting any problem with it now and all I am doing is just strengthening it as much as possible by spending a lot of time in the gym. I used to do less running, but now I am doing more running to condition myself," he said.

The Jamaica cricket team's physical trainer David Bernard Snr also confirms that Samuels "is pretty healthy at present".

"He had a knee problem for which we had to devise special training exercises. It has responded well to this specialised training and we continue to work on it to have it where he can do more rigorous training when called upon to do so.

But in today's game, where the game is played on a continual basis, one's approach to fitness has to be developed on the particular need and demand of the individual for the occasion," Bernard said.

Samuels himself believes that there is a science to fitness for the modern day cricketer."It's not like back when you had one tour this month and another six months before you get another.

There are tours right through the year, so you will be playing a lot of cricket. You can get fit to a level. (but) physically fit and match fit are two different things.

"Once you are playing cricket consistently you will be match fit, you don't have to be doing a lot of work behind doors as you can over prepare and be very tired with so much cricket being played," Samuels said.

Regarding suggestions that he has not always gotten along well with teammates, Samuels sought to "set the record straight."

Said he: "For instance if on a given morning we are coming out on the field and I trip everybody laughs. If somebody else trips and I laugh it is a big problem. The situation bugged me for some time, but I have now put that behind me. I am not looking backwards I am looking forward."

Samuels added: "If the truth be told Marlon Samuels is a fun guy. I am a people person. I laugh a lot. People make a lot of jokes with me. I make a lot of jokes with people. Some poke fun at me and vice versa. But I realise now that some people make jokes with me, even poke fun at me. They can give it, but can't take it."

"I have been looking at my situation keenly with the help of counselling and have come to realise that not everywhere you go people will like you.

Not everyone will mesh with you or your way of thinking, but you still have to interact positively with those individuals to show them that despite differences you can still remain dignified and thrust forward for more meaningful relationships whether. On the field or off it.

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