West Indies cricketer Marlon Samuels has bagged headlines for various off-field reasons in the past. Be it his controversial press conference after West Indies won the World T20 last year, where he sat with his legs up on the table, or his epic clash with Shane Warne in the Big Bash League, Samuels manages to make himself the centre of attention.
And now, Samuels has surprised many, by claiming that he wants to join the Pakistan army. The West Indian was particularly impressed with the Pakistan army, who were in-charge of the security during the Pakistan Super League final earlier in the month in Lahore.
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The right-hander, representing the winning team, Peshawar Zalmi, was one of the foreigners, who agreed to take part in Lahore, though the final call – to play or not – was solely the players' choice. After the terror attack on Sri Lanka cricketers in Pakistan in 2009, players have not been keen on playing in Pakistan. A number of Quetta Gladiators' (runners up) foreign players, including Kevin Pietersen, Tymal Mills and Nathan McCullum, opted out of the final.
Samuels, in the video, said that it was not a tough decision to play in the PSL final as he considers himself a Pakistani in heart.
"Thank you to the army for the way they dealt with the things, security was top class and couldn't ask for a better security and system. I have spent a lot of time with Pakistanis in Jamaica, they are all my friends and I am a Pakistani in my heart. So it didn't take much time for me to decide to come to Pakistan," Samuels said in the video posted by Peshawar Zalmi's chairman Javed Afridi.
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"I am a soldier and I salute you general. I wouldn't mind coming to Pakistan if I get a metallic badge on my shoulder. In Jamaica I'm a general — that is why I wear my army suit to Pakistan. I am just waiting for (the badge) on my shoulder. I just want to be a part of the Pakistan army."
Such kind of statements will please Pakistan cricket fans, who have been without any cricket for a long time. No top cricketing nation are willing to tour Pakistan due to security reasons, but this statement from Samuels is a perfect advertisement for international cricket to make a comeback.
Following the first tentative steps with the PSL final, another major step is set to be taken, with Lahore set to host a series against a World XI in September.
We Pakistani's will never forget your sacrifices ,ur golden words are a message for the world that we r peace loving nation n we love Crickt pic.twitter.com/rxYtjfZIMC— Javed Afridi (@JAfridi10) March 11, 2017