The West Indies have officially announced their World Cup 2019 squad to head to England. However, a few big names have been left out, like Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine, Marlon Samuels and Dwayne Bravo. In all honesty, it was surprising to see the spinner left out of the team.
The 30-year old is eager to return to the international scene inspite of not being part of West Indies’ World Cup plans. On one hand, the move makes sense as Narine has not played an ODI since October 2016. Also, Sunil Narine has been absent from international cricket since a 2017 T20I match.
Sunil Narine would have found a slot in West Indies’ provisional World Cup squad, if injury had not dashed his hopes. Under different circumstances, he would have joined other returnees like Andre Russell and Evin Lewis.
He understood why the WICB dropped him from the team. Narine reasoned that, while he excelled in T20s, he “wouldn’t be able to do myself or the team justice” in the longer format.
A few months ago, Narine tore a ligament in his right middle finger, restricting his bowling. Doctors advised Sunil Narine to rest and rehabilitate once the IPL ends and surgery is still an option.
“I would have loved to play in the World Cup,” Narine admitted to ESPNcricinfo. “I have missed international cricket and I’ve missed representing West Indies. It’s where my heart lies.
“But I don’t feel my finger is quite ready for ODI cricket. I can get through a T20 where I bowl just four overs. But even that isn’t easy and I need help from the physio. It’s holding me back from playing international cricket. I wouldn’t be able to do myself or the team justice.”
Narine’s career has been the subject of scrutiny on the legality of his bowling action. So, he has been forced to alter it on several occasions, but he insists that it is not relevant to his current decision.
“My action is as good and strong as it has ever been,” he says. “It has taken a while to get to the point where I could bowl at full pace with the new action, but I’m comfortable and confident with it now. The pace and the variations are there, I just need to recover from the finger issue, build up strength, and I will be available for West Indies in both T20 and ODI cricket.”
“International cricket is where I want to be,” Narine says. “Once I’m able to give the team my all, I’d like to be back there helping West Indies win games.”
The Windies squad is as follows: Jason Holder (capt), Andre Russell, Ashley Nurse, Carlos Brathwaite, Chris Gayle, Darren Bravo, Evin Lewis, Fabian Allen, Kemar Roach, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Oshane Thomas, Shai Hope, Shannon Gabriel, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer.