Samuels' ban harsh, says Richie Richardson
Former West Indies captain Richie Richardson has criticised the ICC for banning Marlon Samuels for two years and wants the relevant law to be amended. Samuels was found guilty of breaching the ICC's Code of Conduct for "receiving money, or benefit or other reward that could bring him or the game of cricket into disrepute."
The violation, which occurred during West Indies' tour of India in early 2007, carries a minimum two-year ban which came into effect on May 9. Richardson was part of the West Indies Cricket Board's (WICB) disciplinary committee that recommended a suspended sentence on account of Samuels' good behaviour.
"We aren't the ones who banned Marlon for two years," Richardson told Caribbean Media Corporation. "We wouldn't have done that and we will be issuing a statement to indicate that law needs to be revised because it is unfair."
The committee said they had also written to WICB president Julian Hunte "expressing concern about the propriety of prescribing mandatory minimum punishments" for the nature of Samuels' offence.
"I'm very disappointed I'm involved. I wish I wasn't because it is unfair. This law seems to be made by somebody in an office somewhere who wants to be in control.
"I can understand the problem we are having in the game with match-fixing and all of that. I can understand that they want to be severe. If somebody willingly and deliberately based on information, gives out [information] to a bookie or anything like that I can understand that ban.
"But Marlon naively befriended this guy or this guy befriended him and I haven't seen anything to prove that Marlon either deliberately gave out information or deliberately received funds from anyone."
Acting ICC president Dave Richardson had earlier justified the ban saying, "minimum penalties were agreed by the ICC Board, including all Full Members, and they reflect the seriousness of the issues at hand."