West Indies cricketer Marlon Samuels on Wednesday slapped a defamation case against Geoff Lawson as well as Australian news publication news.com.au for comments accusing him of having criminal links in his home country of Jamaica.
According to a report in The Indian Express, former Australian pacer Lawson made the statements in a radio podcast 'Big Sports Breakfast', accusing Samuels of having criminal ties in the Jamaican capital of Kingston, and that the West Indian batting all-rounder was someone that one shouldn't mess with.
"He’s tied up with some shady people back in the West Indies….he’s a guy you don’t muck around with on or off the field. He’s from Kingston, Jamaica, it’s one of the murder capitals of the world…he’s tied up with gangs there, it goes well beyond cricket," Lawson was quoted as saying according to the report.
Samuels, in his lawsuit, has filed a case of defamation against Lawson, the talk show as well as news.com.au journalist James Matthey, who was reported to have published an article along the same lines on the Australian news portal.
"Samuels has no criminal record nor has been the subject of any criminal investigations. The comments were published and aired with the absence of conducting proper journalist research, nor where Samuels contacted to give his views on the damaging remarks about his character," read an official statement by the 'Man of the Match' in two consecutive ICC World T20 finals.
"Through this case, I intend not only to defend my integrity and my image as a international cricketer but also the values I have defended all my career," added Samuels, who went on to state that the funds obtained from winning the case would be donated to the 'Marlon Samuels Society for the Blind' in Jamaica.
Samuels, who has been in the limelight for off-field issues on more occasion than one in his international career, hit the headlines recently after the ICC World T20 final, in which he lashed out at Australian spin legend Shane Warne during the post-match presentation ceremony after winning the 'Man of the Match' for his unbeaten 85.
""I woke up this morning with one thing on my mind. Shane Warne has been talking continuously and all I want to say is 'this is for Shane Warne'. I answer with the bat, not the mic," Samuels was quoted as saying after the match.
Both Samuels and Warne have engaged in a war of words both on and off the field for quite some time now, with their feud tracing back to the 2013 edition of the Big Bash League, in which the duo were involved in one of the most memorable on-field spats ever.