cricket, SPORTS

Jamaica Cricket Association Takes Swift And Drastic Action

Robert George Samuels, the 47-year-old former West Indian cricketer, was described as a batsman with a solid technique, capable of both stubborn defense and effective attack.

Samuels played in six Tests and eight ODIs from 1996 to 1997.

Since retiring from playing cricket, Samuels has engaged in coaching at various levels. He also served as a national cricket selector and has had stints as a radio cricket analyst.

The fact is Samuels breathe and live cricket from as early as his primary school days.

So, it was no surprise when Samuels was given the baton to carry on as the head coach of Jamaica’s national senior cricket team in 2016. This of course came after the triumphant reign of Junior Bennett who guided Jamaica to three straight regional four-day titles during his first stint in 2006 to 2010 before he was asked to assist Gus Logie for the 2010-2011 season.

Bennett was then restored as head coach following the departure of the Trinidadian Gus Logie in 2011 and served until Samuels appointment.

Truth be told, in the latter part of Bennett’s role at the helm, Jamaica’s performance was abysmal even though he had won five consecutive titles as head coach.

That said, the current team’s performance, however, under coach Samuels has moved from bad to worst.

Now, the Jamaica Cricket Association has decided not to renew the contract of head coach Robert Samuels after a string of failures and reported off-field issues.

Samuels’ contract which expired on August 31, 2018, was extended to December 31, 2018, with the view of renewal at the end of that extension.

However, Samuels performance was under scrutiny, given the many failures of the senior team under his leadership and especially when weighed against the five consecutive titles under former head coach Bennett’s watch.

The team finished fifth in the 2016/2017 regional four-day competition and was fourth in the 2017/2018 season.

The team’s loss of its opening match against the Barbados Pride at the start of the season was too much to swallow and left the JCA with no choice but to fire Samuels.

“With full consideration given to on-field performances and off-field areas which needed improvement, the Board concluded that a change was necessary,” the JCA said in a release to the press.

Additionally, the release noted, “The decision to not renew Mr. Samuels’ contract is the first in a number of changes coming to the Jamaica Scorpions franchise which will be made public in due course.”

“The Board sincerely thanks Mr. Samuels for his positive contribution to cricket in Jamaica which spans many years and wishes him every success as he continues his journey in the sport.”

The JCA also stated that they are conducting interviews to find an interim replacement and will announce their decision in short order.

The question, however, must be asked, what accounts for Samuels failure given his cricket knowledge, experience, and years of leadership roles? 

Readers Bureau, Contributor

Edited by Jesus Chan

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