Sa­muels sup­ports Miller

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS - Jer­maine Lan­na­man Gleaner Writer

NEWLY AP­POINTED COACH Robert Sa­muels be­lieves spin bowler Nikita Miller is the right per­son for the po­si­tion of cap­tain of the Ja­maica Scor­pi­ons head­ing into the new-look re­gional four­day Dig­i­cel Sport­sMax WICB Pro­fes­sional League.

A con­sis­tent per­former for the na­tional team since mak­ing his four-day de­but 16 sea­sons ago, Miller re­places young bats­man Paul Palmer Jr.

“Nikita has proven him­self to be a leader on and off the field,’’ said Sa­muels of the 34-yearold, who ear­lier this year led the team dur­ing the re­gional one-day NAGICO Su­per50 in Trinidad and Tobago.

RIGHT MAN FOR THE JOB

“Sit­ting in the dress­ing room and lis­ten­ing to Nikita talk about cricket and talk to the play­ers, and how the play­ers re­late to him, I think he is the right man for the job at this time,’’ he de­clared.

The pre­vi­ous selec­tion of the now 24-year-old Palmer Jr, a for­mer na­tional Un­der-19 cap­tain, but whose as­cen­dancy to the post came as some­what as a sur­prise last sea­son, was made by the then Wavell Hinds-led na­tional selec­tion panel.

The selec­tion panel also in­cluded Robert Haynes, Wayne Lewis, Del­roy Mor­gan and Cleve­land David­son.

How­ever, co­in­cid­ing with the re­elec­tion of Ja­maica Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent, Wil­ford ‘Billy’ Heaven ear­lier this year, the panel has been changed.

The selec­tion panel now con­sists of three stand­ing mem­bers with out­go­ing na­tional coach Ju­nior Ben­nett the new chair­man, and re­turn­ing se­lec­tor Ephraim McLeod, as well as Sa­muels be­ing the other mem­bers.

DIFFEERENT AP­PROACH

This change in per­son­nel, ac­cord­ing to Sa­muels, has since taken a dif­fer­ent ap­proach to the selec­tion of a leader with merit of a place in the team be­ing an im­por­tant barom­e­ter.

“The first thing one should do is se­lect a leader that can com­mand and de­mand a po­si­tion in the team first and fore­most,’’ said Sa­muels.

“Nikita has com­manded and de­manded his po­si­tion in the team over the years, is an avid per­former sea­son af­ter sea­son, and for this, the play­ers have the ut­most re­spect for him.’’

Ja­maica, hav­ing failed to fin­ish in the top three for the past three re­gional four-day sea­sons are set to open their ac­count against two-time de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons Guyana Jaguars at the Providence Sta­dium next week­end.

SA­MUELS

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