Sunil Narine was a notable absentee from West Indies’ 15-man World Cup squad. While his omission did not raise too many eyebrows, there were speculations that he would get a chance in the World Cup squad after the recent changes in West Indies’ Cricket board. But while the new selectors picked Andre Russell and Evin Lewis, they did not include the likes of Narine and Kieron Pollard. Narine has completely fallen down the pecking order in international cricket in recent times.
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The spinner has not played a One-Day International since October 2016. In fact, his last international appearance came in September 2017 when he played a T20I international against England. Narine has now said he is still desperate to return to international cricket. He would have been included in West Indies’ provisional World Cup squad had injury not intervened. Narine is confident of playing through the ongoing IPL but said that he would not done well in the longer format.
Narine sustained a torn ligament in his right middle finger some months ago which has robbed him of certain deliveries. He has been advised to rest and rehabilitate once the IPL gets over. There is also a possibility of surgery on the finger in future years. Narine also admitted that playing Test cricket again is unlikely for him. He had last played a Test way back in December 2013.
“I would have loved to play in the World Cup,” Sunil Narine told 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,” he added.
Narine further said that there is a possibility he could be available for the latter stages of the tournament should he be required as an injury replacement.
“I can’t say for sure at the moment,” he said. “You never want anyone to suffer an injury, but if it did happen and I was able to give West Indies my all, I would love to be part of it.
“But I don’t think it would be right to go into such a big tournament carrying an injury that won’t permit an increased workload and stress on the finger. The performances are fine, but I need to build up the required strength to go from four to 10 overs regularly,” he added.
Narine, who was approached by the selectors before the squad announcement, said that he wants to be a regular feature in international cricket.
“International cricket is where I want to be,” Narine said. “Once I’m able to give the team my all, I’d like to be back there helping West Indies win games.”