Injured Samuels returns to Jamaica
Pune Warriors have suffered a setback with West Indian batsman Marlon Samuels returning to Jamaica to recover from a groin strain and to be with his mother, who broke her knee. Samuels is likely to miss the rest of Warriors' IPL campaign, with the franchise languishing near the bottom of the league.
Samuels, one of Wisden's five Cricketers of the Year announced earlier this month, played only two matches, scoring eight runs and taking one wicket. He remained with Warriors for a while but the groin injury failed to improve, so Samuels requested the management to release him so that he could be with his mother in hospital.
"The groin injury was taking time to heal, but after he received news about his mom having her knee plate fractured, he became restless and asked if he could head back home," Abhijit Sarkar, Warriors' spokesperson, told ESPNcricinfo. He confirmed the franchise would not seek a replacement for Samuels. According to Sarkar, Samuels could return if he recovered from injury and Warriors made the knockouts.
After returning from a two-year ICC ban, Samuels' resurgence was dramatic: he was West Indies' best batsman on the tour of England in 2012. He was the Man of the Match in the 2012 World Twenty20 final, which West Indies won, and had come to the IPL after recovering from a facial injury suffered during the Big Bash.
Samuels' absence added to Warriors' problems this IPL season. They have lost their last three matches - Chris Gayle demoralised them by smashing Twenty20 records in Bangalore - and have only two wins after eight games. Warriors are currently above last-placed Delhi Daredevils, their next opponent at the IPL's newest venue - Raipur - on Sunday.
Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo