Samuels: It does not matter if the Aussies do not like me
Ryon Jones, Staff Reporter
West Indies all-rounder Marlon Samuels has hit back at Australian middle order batsman Cameron White.
In the aftermath of an on-field altercation between Samuels and Australian legend, Shane Warne, during their teams' Australian Big Bash T20 game, White is reported in the media as saying he 'does not think the Jamaican is well liked in Australian cricket'.
"It doesn't matter if the Australia team doesn't like me. I am not playing for Australia, I am playing for the West Indies," Samuels stated to The Gleaner. "Look at Australia's behaviour with the Sri Lankans in the last T20 game, that's just the Australians on a whole. I have a very strong character, so whatever they say to me I am going to answer back.
"If they want to like me or don't want to like me, it's neither here nor there. I am a Jamaican and a West Indian and the Indians like me."
The incident involving Sir Lanka and Australia to which Samuels referred occurred on Monday when the Lankans' tour of Down Under finished with ugly scenes after players argued on the field at the end of their Twenty20 encounter.
White is also reported as saying persons are of the view that Samuels "carries on a bit". Samuels, however, believes the negative criticism is due to the fact that he is at the top of his game at the moment.
"When I just came back into cricket, I was scoring 70s and 50s. (Cameron) White was still around. Why didn't he (White) come out and say that at the time?" Samuels questioned. "As soon as I am on top, a lot of people coming at me, but you can't have a smooth run and I don't expect to have one."
There is history between Samuels and the pair of White and Warne. Samuels first clashed with White in last year's Indian Premier League. Both players exchanged choice words during their respective turn at the crease.
As for Warne, their first altercation came during the last T20 World Cup when the players also traded harsh words during their teams' group match and semi-final encounters.
"White and I had a run-in last year, so obviously I had hurt his feelings, but he was the first one that said something very disrespectful to me and I answered, so White is still having me up," Samuels shared. "Same thing with Warne, as he disrespected me and I answered ... ."
The West Indies team is currently in Australia on tour, where they are scheduled to play five one-day internationals (ODIs) and a one-off Twenty20 match. The first ODI match was played yesterday.
Samuels had intended to sit out the tour even before suffering a serious eye injury from a Lasith Malinga bouncer in the contentious Big Bash T20 League match between the Melbourne Renegades and Melbourne Stars.
"The physio wanted me to get some rest, but I have a contract in Bangladesh and the money was good in Bangladesh and there is the West Indies tour, so I thought it would have been a problem which one I chose," Samuels reasoned.
"So everything happens for a reason. I am here taking the rest and enjoying some lovely time in Jamaica, doing some positive work and spending some quality time with my family."