Samuels confirms he rejected World Cup berth

Last Updated: Mar 02, 2011, 09:38 AM IST

Kingston: West Indies batsman Marlon Samuels on Tuesday confirmed that he has refused an offer to replace the injured Dwayne Bravo in the Caribbean team`s World Cup squad in the sub-continent.

Samuels, who was banned for two years for passing on information to bookmakers, said he was approached by selectors to replace Bravo but turned down the offer because he is not yet ready for a comeback to international cricket.

"First of all, I want to say thanks to the regional selectors for sitting down and thinking about selecting me for the World Cup. I am honoured to get such a phone call," Samuels said.

"But as I had said in interviews before the start of the tournament, I want to, at this moment, focus on four-day and not one-day cricket, and try to be out there in the sun for hours on top of hours. I am doing that at the moment.”

"However, despite this, I still don`t think I am 100 per cent ready and I want to be honest with myself. I hope the selectors understand and respect my decision," added the 30-year-old.

However, according to a report in `The Trinidad Express`, the tainted Samuels rejected the opportunity as he feared being arrested in India, one of the co-hosts of the mega-event along with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Samuels represented West Indies in 29 Tests and 103 ODIs before being slapped with a two-year ban by the ICC in May 2006 for his alleged involvement with bookmakers.

Guyana leg-spinner Davendra Bishoo replaced Bravo in the squad and when contacted, the West Indies Cricket Board neither confirmed nor denied the reason for Samuels` refusal.

Samuels, who has so far scored three centuries and a 50 since returning to regional four-day cricket, however said that he was looking forward to playing against India and Pakistan in the upcoming Digicel home series.

"I am definitely looking to play in the upcoming Digicel homes series, so hopefully, I will continue on the road that I am and continue to score centuries," he said.

PTI