KINGSTON, Jamaica (CMC) – Veteran West Indies batsman Marlon Samuels has donated JAM $1.5 million (US $11,700) to the Jamaica Society for the Blind.
The move was announced at a media conference Tuesday in Jamaica where it was also revealed that Samuels, through his Foundation, would also disburse a further $350,000 to Garfield Mitchell, a 23-year-old visually impaired student of the Church Teachers College.
“I started this foundation because I am always somebody that gives back wherever I can,” said Samuels, who has played 71 Tests, 187 One-Day Internationals and 55 Twenty20s for West Indies.
“The first year I spent a million and asked Digicel to help and they did. The second year, I spent another million and asked Lime (FLOW) and they helped me a lot and the third year I did the party and asked everybody to donate to the foundation.”
He added: “So far it has been wonderful … I am not going to say it’s easy, but I have often said playing cricket for so many years is what makes a Marlon Samuels and this is something that I am going to continue to do.”
Samuels embarked on the partnership with the Jamaica Society for the Blind following an incident four years ago in Australia when he was struck by a delivery in the face and sustained a fractured eye socket.
He remained partially blind for two weeks before undergoing surgery and afterwards pledged support for the blind in Jamaica once recovered.
Tuesday’s media conference was attended by West Indies Cricket Board president, Dave Cameron, former prime minister Portia Simpson-Miller, along with Sports Minister Olivia Grange.