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21 Aug 2021
Sunil Narine has got back most of his best form with the ball in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League but West Indies are not in any hurry to draft him back to the squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup. However, they are more than eager to have Andre Russell back in bid to defend their World T20 championship.
Discussion Narine's non-selection or rather refusing to discuss the issue, West Indies skipper Kieron Pollard said that there have been enough communications to explain his exclusion and that he is not the right person to deal with such matters now.
He recalled his friendship early days of his career with Narine but chose to rally around the 15 players who have been selected to defend the T20 World Cup they won in the last edition in 2016.
"That has been explained. If I add my two cents or my words on how his non-inclusion came about, then it could be spun - just like how he's bowling on these Sharjah wickets - in all different directions. Let's deal with the fifteen guys that we have here at this moment in time, which is more important, and see if we can rally around these guys and see if we can defend our title,” Pollard said from Dubai where Windies are staying before the T20 World Cup.
"I have no comments on that. Enough has been said on that. I think persons have explained the reason of his non-inclusion at this point in time. For me personally, I know Sunil Narine as a friend first, before an international cricketer. We grew up playing cricket together. He is a world-class cricketer."
However, he is eager to welcome Narine’s KKR teammate Andre Russel whom he rated as a “critical person” for the West Indies side. Russell injured his knee during the game against the Chennai Super Kings and has not played any cricket since September 26.
Pollard said that the status of Russell’s injury can’t be assessed from a distance without having him among the players. He said that the Windies management will have an eye on his availability in the second qualifier of the IPL 2021 and then the final if the KKR reach there to have an understanding of his injury.
"Before I make any assumptions as to what he can or he can't do, we need to do our assessment first as a team. We haven't had the opportunity to see him. We've gotten reports as to what he has done. I wouldn't want to get into trying to say what he can or can't do at this point in time,” Pollard said.
"He's a critical person for our team and we'd love for him to be 100%, but we have to deal with what's in front of us. Let's see what happens over the next couple of days. KKR have another game tomorrow and then, if they get through to the final, on Friday. When we see him as a management staff, we'll be able to assess and ascertain what he can or can't do, but we're looking forward to having a fit Andre Russell if possible."