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Samuels facing minimum two-year ban after corruption investigation 13/5/2008
Robin Lynch

The West Indies batsman Marlon Samuels is facing at least two years out of the game after being found guilty of corruption. The International Cricket Council will set the final length of punishment following the West Indies Cricket Board's conclusion that he had illegally colluded with a bookmaker during their series in India last year.

Samuels was allegedly caught on tape by police passing match information to a bookmaker during the series in February 2007. After the matter was picked up by the ICC's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit, the world governing body asked the WICB to conduct an investigation under the terms of their code of conduct. The offence carries a minimum two-year ban and suspension will be dated from May 9, when the original WICB hearing was completed.

Acknowledging receipt of the WICB verdict today, ICC chief executive David Richardson said: "We are yet to see the whole judgment to put the matter of the punishment into its proper context but we note the WICB disciplinary committee found the player guilty and has imposed an immediate ban. In terms of the punishment handed down, minimum penalties were agreed by the ICC board, including all full members, and they reflect the seriousness of the issues at hand.

"Corruption is a serious matter, dealing with it effectively is fundamental to the integrity of our sport and this matter is a demonstration that its threat has not gone away. It is never pleasant when a player is banned but the process in arriving at this point has been an extremely thorough one and we hope the case serves as a reminder to players and officials to remain vigilant."

Jamaica batsman Samuels is regarded as one of the most talented in the West Indies but his career has been dogged by controversy, inconsistency and injury. In 2002 he was disciplined for breaking a team curfew and he has also been suspended from bowling in international cricket due to a suspect action.