Sunil Narine has dismissed suggestions that he is not interested in playing for West Indies. The offspinner said that playing for West Indies remains an “ultimate goal” for him.
Recently Narine, who has been working on his remodelled bowling action, told selectors he wanted to focus on his bowling and get his confidence back and hence he would not want to feature in the World Cup Qualifiers that will be played in March.
Now Narine is playing for Trinidad & Tobago in the Regional Super50, the local one-day tournament. On Monday, he became the highest wicket-taker during the course of a hat-trick he picked up against Windward Islands. He also has the best economy rate so far in the tournament (2.33), and the best match figures as well: 5 for 10, against Combined Campuses and Colleges.
Regardless of this form, Narine does feel he is not ready to bowl for West Indies in ODIs yet. While he played the solitary Twenty20 in England last September, the last time Narine represented West Indies in ODIs was in October 2016, in the UAE, against Pakistan.
Since then Narine has been busy playing domestic T20 leagues even while asking selectors not to pick him for ODIs. According to Johnny Grave, Cricket West Indies’ chief executive officer, Narine told the selectors that he is not yet fully confident about his bowling action, and would like to carry on working with specialist coach, Carl Crowe, on his action. Grave said he could understand Narine’s position and was willing to grant the player a bit more time.
“It’s nothing like that [not wanting to play for West Indies],” Narine told Line & Length, a Barbados-based weekly cricket TV programme. “I just don’t want to rush back into international cricket and the 50-over game. I think I need to play some [domestic] 50-overs cricket, get accustomed again [instead of] rushing back and making a mess of myself.”
According to Narine, he wanted to “enjoy” his game; that way he could build his confidence before returning to the bigger stage. “It’s about my self-performance, and about self-belief, going out there and trying to perform for Trinidad and Tobago; once I can do that, I will be available for West Indies again.
“I think playing for West Indies is the ultimate goal. I think you have to enjoy cricket, no matter where. So I will see how these [domestic] games go in the 50-over [format] and if I am comfortable and enjoying it, why not.”