Heaven banks on T20 stars availability for Jamaica


April 11, 2016
@Normal:(from left) Digicel's Patrick King, Minister of Sports Olivia Grange, Jamaica Cricket Association president, Wilford Billy Heaven, and West Indies cricketer Marlon Samuels on Samuels' return from India where he helped the West Indies to the World Cup T20 title. <\n>

Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) president Wilford 'Billy' Heaven hopes the Jamaican members of the West Indies team will make themselves more available to help grow and develop the sport in the country.

Speaking shortly after the return of front line batsman Marlon Samuels and fast bowler Jerome Taylor on Tuesday, Heaven said the players were role models who could reignite interest in the sport.

The other Jamaican players who were part of the victorious West Indies World Cup Twenty20 squad were explosive opener Chris Gayle and enterprising all-rounder Andre Russell.

Gayle, Russell, and Taylor represent the Jamaica Tallawahs in the Caribbean Premier League Twenty20, while Samuels has played for Antigua Hawksbills and is currently on the roster of St Kitts and Nevis Patriots.

"We are looking towards our Jamaican players on the West Indies team to be mentors to our cricketers, both male and female," Heaven said.

"This is so that over time, we can build a good team here in Jamaica that is not only competitive, but can contribute significantly to the West Indies."

Heaven was pleased about Samuels' possible return to national representation.

Samuels, who last represented Jamaica in 2014, has had difficulties representing the country since new selection policies were introduced with the installation of the last selection panel, headed by Wavell Hinds.

That panel also included Wayne Lewis, Delroy Morgan, and Robert Haynes.

"Marlon has said to us that he is now ready to play for Jamaica and we are happy for that," said Heaven, who is expected to name a new selection panel within his new administration.

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