The ICC World Cup qualifiers will be held in Zimbabwe next month to decide the final 2 teams who will be participating in next years 50 over World Cup in England and Wales. West Indies will be part of Group A along with Netherlands, Ireland, Papua New Guinea and the winners of the ICC World Cricket League Division 2, but off-spinner Sunil Narine isn’t ready.
Many of the West Indian star players will be missing the tournament due to their friction with the board and their commitment to play in the Pakistan Super League.
West Indian off-spinner Sunil Narine has spoken out this week regarding his decision to withdraw from the West Indian national squad, along with Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo and Andre Russell. The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) player clarified that he is still very much interested in joining the national team but currently doesn’t feel ready to join up with the squad right now as he didn’t play any ODI’s in 2017.
The West Indian cricket board had said last month that the above mentioned four players were invited to join the squad but had “indicated that they were unavailable to help us qualify as their priority was playing in the Pakistan Super League.”
Speaking on a TV show, Sunil Narine gave his side of the story. He said,
“It’s nothing like that. I just don’t want to rush back into International cricket and the 50-over game. I think I need to play some 50-overs cricket at the regional level and get accustomed again.”
He continued, “I don’t want to rush back into it (international cricket) and make a mess of myself. I think it’s about my self-performance, self-belief and trying to go out there and perform for T&T and once I can do that I will be available for West Indies again. I think playing for the West Indies is the ultimate goal. I think you must try and enjoy your cricket and enjoy it no matter what. So, I will see how these games go in the Super50 and if I am comfortable and enjoying it, why not, I will play for West Indies again.”
Sunil Narine has played 65 ODI’s for the West Indies national team, however, his last was in October 2016 against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates. The 29-year-old played that match after being cleared for his bowling action just months earlier. In 2017, he did not play any ODI’s for the national team due to injuries and personal reasons.
Speaking about West Indies chances in the upcoming ICC qualifiers, Sunil Narine said,
“I think they can [qualify]. They have a good team. They just need to enjoy the cricket, be positive and once they are enjoying it, they can play as well as they want to.”