MELBOURNE, Australia, CMC – A nasty on-field confrontation with star Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne today plunged West Indies all-rounder Marlon Samuels into controversy yet again.
The incident saw Warne throwing the ball directly at Samuels and striking the Jamaican who responded by tossing his bat in the legendary Test player’s direction.
And the ruckus, which erupted during the Big Bash game between Melbourne Renegades and Melbourne Stars, was further compounded when Samuels top-edged a bouncer from Lasith Malinga into his face and was forced to retire hurt.
He was subsequently taken to hospital with a bloodied face.
The melee overshadowed the result of the Melbourne derby which saw Samuels’ Renegades emerge with a comfortable nine wicket victory and continue at the top of the Big Bash standings.
Opting to bat first, the Stars tallied 146 for nine off their 20 overs, with England opener Luke Wright top-scoring with 29.
In the sixth over, Samuels seemed to restrain David Hussey, who made 23, from taking a second run and the two exchanged words over the episode.
The off-spinner finished with one for 26 from three overs.
When Renegades batted, Warne welcomed Samuels’s arrival at the crease in the ninth over with an obscenity laced rant and the tension escalated with the ball and bat throwing incident.
Samuels had made 17 from 15 balls with three fours when he attempted to hook the fourth delivery of a new Malinga spell but succeeded only in dragging the ball into the grill on his helmet.
He was taken to hospital but the severity of the injury was not immediately clear.
Captain Aaron Finch’s compensated for Samuels’s loss, striking an unbeaten 67 from 47 balls to see Renegades to victory with seven balls to spare.
The latest controversy follows that involving Brisbane Heat head coach Darren Lehmann who called Samuels’s action into question, and incurred a AUS$3 000 suspended fine from Cricket Australia.