West Indies limited-overs skipper Kieron Pollard has confirmed that mystery spinner Sunil Narine won’t be part of the squad in the showpiece event in the UAE and Oman. Narine took four wickets for Kolkata Knight Riders against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Eliminator of the IPL 2021 in Sharjah.
Narine has picked 14 wickets in 12 games in the ongoing IPL at an economy rate of 6.41 and a strike-rate 20.57. He hasn’t played for the West Indies since August 2019 due to various reasons. The 33-year-old failed to make cut for West Indies' T20 World 2021 squad after failing to meet the board's minimum fitness criteria.
Pollards, West Indies captain for the showpiece event, downplayed questions on Narine's later entry in the squad.
"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.
"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."
Meanwhile, the West Indies skipper hopes that Andre Russell will be fit on time for T20 World Cup 2021. The all-rounder has missed out on KKR's last few matches due to a niggle injury he has suffered in the ongoing ipl 2021. He could not turn for up for the 2-time champions in thier all-important Eliminator clash against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Monday.
"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," Pollard said. "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.
"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," the West Indies skipper hoped.
West Indies will begin their campaign against England on 23 October in Dubai.