West Indian swashbuckling all-rounder is a seasoned T20 campaigner, having plied his trade in various T20 leagues and flourishing for them. Most recently, Andre Russell played for the Kolkata Knight Riders and is presently featuring for the Colombo Kings in the inaugural edition of Lanka Premier League. But when it has come down to playing for the West Indies, Russell has found himself injured and played only in two T20Is since 2018.
Andre Russell turned down the opportunity of playing three T20Is in New Zealand that held recently and chose to play in the Lanka Premier League. It emerged that the West Indies Cricket Board was not aware of the 32-year old’s participation and hence people have accused Russell of not being serious in playing for the national team. However, the pace-bowling all-rounder has hit back by claiming that nothing comes before playing for the West Indies.
Andre Russell mentioned that playing for the West Indies comes before anything else and the energy and the effort he puts in doing that, he would not do anywhere else. At the same time, Russell lamented the lack of consideration about a plethora of injuries he suffers from and that it’s easy for people to judge.
“Playing for West Indies comes first for me. And the energy and effort that I put out playing for West Indies, I wouldn’t do it playing anywhere else. Sometimes people don’t understand what a player like myself goes through with niggles and all of those things. But they’re just going to judge, and it’s easy for them to judge,” Andre Russell said as quoted by Sports Max.
Andre Russell opens up about the conversation with Kieron Pollard concerning the tour of New Zealand:
The Jamaican all-rounder revealed telling white-ball captain Kieron Pollard of his willingness to go to New Zealand when asked by him. However, Andre Russell admitted not being in the right headspace as he struggled to get the runs. Russell also had faith in Pollard that he would understand the anxieties that come with staying within the bio-secure bubble. After playing in the 2020 edition of Caribbean Premier League, the 32-year old travelled to the UAE to participate in IPL.
“The chairman reached out to me while I was playing IPL, but before that, I was talking to Pollard. And Pollard said: “Russ, I’m not forcing you, I’m just asking you: Are you coming to New Zealand? I said, ‘yeah, man, I would want to come, but right now, Polly, my headspace is messed up. I’m struggling, I’m not getting no runs, all of this. As a player to another player, he will understand what I’m going through. Coming from a bubble in Trinidad [for CPL], come straight into Abu Dhabi [in IPL], days on days, you can only go to practise, and come back to the hotel and your room. You can close your eyes and go to the bathroom, but there is nowhere else to go,” he added.