Benjamin: Samuels’ departure hurt Hurricanes

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Coach of the Leeward Islands Hurricanes, Reginald Benjamin said losing experienced batsman and senior West Indies player, Marlon Samuels, significantly hurt the team’s chances of playing in this year’s Regional Super50 finals in Antigua & Barbuda.
Benjamin, who coached the sub-regional team to its first semifinals in over five seasons, said Samuels’ experience would have boosted his team’s batting against an informed and talented Barbados Pride in last Thursday’s semifinals.
“A player like Marlon Samuels coming into the Leewards, he would have brought more than runs. He brought experience and his ideas and so you would be losing a ‘three in one’ player. But something beyond my control went around the way and the decision for him to leave was made and from a coaching and management perspective, there was nothing we could have done to replace him,” he said.
Samuels departed for the United Arab Emirates following the team’s first round clash against the Trinidad & Tobago Red Force and after just two matches with the Hurricanes.
The Hurricanes, Benjamin said, was then left in a quandary, as they were not allowed to replace the Jamaican.
“Due to some rules they had within, we were not allowed to replace Marlon Samuels so, if you noticed, we had Tyrone Williams as our emergency fielder continuously. The replacement for Kevorn Cooper, we brought in Jeremiah Louis and he was an obvious choice because he was in the reserves and but we weren’t actually playing with 13 players after maybe the third or fourth game. At one stage we had 12 players before Jeremiah flew over,” the Antiguan coach said.
Hurricanes will now seek to go back into 4-Day mode with training sessions starting February 28.

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