West Indies skipper Kieron Pollard has rejected the possibility of off-spinner Sunil Narine’s making a comeback for the upcoming T20 World Cup. Pollard dismissed talk of Sunil Narine’s late inclusion despite his encouraging performances for Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2021.
Narine’s form had been a massive concern after he performed poorly in IPL 2020. However, the off-spinner has repaid the franchise’s faith after he was retained for another season. Narine has threatened the opposition with both bat and ball, playing an integral role in Kolkata’s turnaround in the UAE leg.
However, Kieron Pollard declared that the squad won’t undergo any changes barring any illnesses or injury. Pollard remarked that the camp trusts the 15 men picked to defend their coveted T20 title. The 33-year-old said as quoted by ESPN Cricinfo:
“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 defend our title.”
Narine’s absence would mean leg-spinner Hayden Walsh is the only specialist spinner in the defending champions’ squad. However, the likes of Fabian Allen and Roston Chase should also provide depth in that unit.
Sunil Narine is a world-class cricketer: Kieron Pollard
With chief selector Roger Harper conceding that Narine could not meet the fitness requirements, Pollard refused to comment further. However, the West Indian captain had no doubts about his countryman’s ability. He said:
“I have no comments on that. Enough has been said on that. I think persons have explained the reason for 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.”
The Trinidad & Tobago spinner was part of West Indies’ title-winning competition in 2012 and snared nine wickets in seven games. The 33-year-old’s bowling action has undergone several trials and tribulations and was banned before the 2016 T20 World Cup.