Sport

Coach Samuels takes comfort in progression of players

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

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Jamaica Scorpions Head Coach Robert Samuels says while he is aware his tenure will ultimately be judged by cricket titles won, he is encouraged that a number of the players have matriculated into the West Indies A and senior team set-ups.

Samuels, in a third season with the Scorpions since his appointment in late 2016, is yet to lift either the regional four-day or Super50 title as coach.

“Coaches are judged solely on wins. [But] I look at it a little bit different; I look at the growth and development of the players. I've seen players gone through and play for West Indies at the A team and the senior level and when I see that I know that things are happening,” Samuels told the Jamaica Observer during team practice at Sabina Park last Thursday.

“I will be judged based on wins, but at the same time, things are happening where players are coming through and making it to the next level,” the 47-year-old reiterated.

Three seasons ago, the Scorpions, did well to reach the Super50 final before losing to Barbados Pride, but flopped in consecutive tournaments since then. Their best finish in the four-day format in that time is fourth — accomplished last season.

It is a far cry from the Jamaica sides that won five-straight four-day championships between 2008 and 2012 when Junior Bennett, now chairman of selectors, was the head coach.

The Jamaica team, which transitioned out several integral, senior players in recent years, has endured a title drought since 2012, and Bennett left the post at the end of 2014-15 season.

It has been all Guyana Jaguars since then. They have dominated the four-day format, winning the last four editions of the tournament.

But Samuels, under fire in some quarters, thinks a Scorpions' turnaround is on the cards.

“Teamwise, I'm expecting a better performance, I'm expecting us to finish in the top two, [but] I'm looking also to try to win this competition,” the former West indies left-hand batsman assured.

The Scorpions left the island on Monday for tomorrow's start of their opening game of the season against hosts Barbados Pride at Three Ws Oval.

— Sanjay Myers


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