New Delhi: West Indies spinner Marlon Samuels on Friday lashed out at the critics of his bowling action in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL), saying they were "evil". "They are doing it because they can't play my bowling," the Pune Warriors India allrounder told the Times of India. "If I was hit into the galleries, my action would never have been questioned." The offspinner was reported last week by match officials for a suspect bowling action following his team's match against the defending champions Chennai Super Kings.
According to the IPL rules, Samuels, 31, will be suspended from bowling for the rest of the tournament if his action is reported again. Samuels has faced problems with his action in the past, particularly when bowling his faster deliveries. The West Indies star was suspended from bowling when reported for a suspect action after the third Test against South Africa in Durban in 2008. He underwent remedial work and was cleared to bowl by the International Cricket Council last year.
Samuels, who has claimed 19 Test and 67 one-day international wickets, said the "faster ball" was a spinner's weapon. "I have worked very hard on my bowling," he told the newspaper. "Slow bowlers these days need to have variations and the faster ball is surely a great weapon to have." Former India captain Sourav Ganguly, who is leading Pune, defended Samuels. "I'm surprised that he has been warned," Ganguly told reporters. "If you look around the IPL, I'll be honest, there are worse actions going on."
Samuels lauded Ganguly for backing him. "He is a great captain and I am happy that he has so much faith in me," he said. The 76-match Twenty20 IPL has nine teams playing each other on a home-and-away basis before the top-four sides qualify for the play-offs. The final will be played on May 27.