Batting great embraces return of Gayle, Samuels

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Cricket legend Sir Vivian Richards, has welcomed the inclusion of two experienced West Indies players in the squad ahead of the lone T20 match against England this weekend. 
Jamaicans Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuel had been kept out of the regional squad owing to a controversial rule which dictates that players much compete in the WICB regional tournaments to be eligible for selection.
The criterion had ruled out a number of senior players including Dwayne Bravo, Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine and Andre Russel until the board recently decided to relax the rule.
“Chris has been pretty phenomenal. Anyone who can score 10,000 runs at the T20 level is something very special. He is one of the West Indian greats in that sense. Marlon Samuels being also experienced. There have been some problems but I just believe that there are times when you hear people speak about better late than never but I don’t think it works in this particular situation but it’s nice that they are back.  I think it’s just a sort of dressing and it could be the kind of send-off that I think Chris Gayle deserves,” Sir Viv said. 
The most successful ever West Indies captain hinted that the inclusion of the two experienced players could be a blessing in disguise for struggling captain, Jason Holder.
“It’s pretty tough for you to get things right at all times and that is where, sometimes, I think you need some of the more professional folks in the room, folks who would have gotten the experience at the higher level giving the sort of information and that’s the time where I think he would have had a let down because of the lack of information,” the former player said.
“One has got to remember as well that he is very inexperienced and his performances as captain hasn’t quite warranted him, in a sense, to be that dominant, to say the things and to do the things aggressively when you are performing as a captain,” he added. 
As for the team’s Test series loss to England, the Antiguan questioned the decision to bat first in the third and final Test with the series level at one a piece after winning the toss at a venue where the pitch had promised so much to the bowlers.
“Why when we won the toss at Lord’s, knowing the conditions, did we bat? Maybe that could have been the sort of confidence they took from the [second] Test match and from the way they played. They probably felt like they had the momentum and they were going in there with the kind of confidence factor regardless of weather conditions. I think that’s where, maybe, we did drop the ball in terms of getting the use of the conditions,” Sir Viv said.
The West Indies will play a lone T20 match against England on Saturday before the first of 5 ODI matches on 19 September at Old Trafford.

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