QUEEN'S Park Cricket Club coach David Furlonge has defended the appearance by off-spinner Sunil Narine for the club in the Sunday League 50-over competition, saying he was used sparingly during matches, and playing local cricket cannot be compared to international cricket.
On April 24, in an ESPNcricinfo story, Narine, who has an injured right middle finger, said he is not fit enough to represent West Indies at the 50-over World Cup, which bowls off in England and Wales, on Thursday.
"I would have loved to play in the World Cup," 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."
Narine said he wants to help West Indies win matches. "International cricket is where I want to be. Once I'm able to give the team my all, I'd like to be back there helping West Indies win games."
Narine has been bowling for Queen's Park in the Sunday League 50-over competition, including appearances in the semifinal and finals, which the Parkites won by 89 runs over First Citizens Clarke Road on Sunday. Narine ended with figures of seven overs, two maidens, 20 runs and three wickets in the semifinals, followed by figures of 6-0-49-1 in the final.
In an interview with Newsday yesterday, Furlonge said Narine has been managed when bowling for Queen's Park because of his injury, only being allowed to bowl short spells.
The Parkites coach said, "The 50-over game (against Central Sports), he bowled two overs, then came off; he bowled another two overs and came off, and so on. For the T20 (tournament) it is the same thing, because it is not to say he is well."
Furlonge and Narine did speak to each other about people questioning his appearance for Queen's Park, but Furlonge said Narine was selected because of the presence he has on the field and his usefulness as a batsman.
"Just his presence on the field will spur on the other players, but he is a player (who) won't go there and not take part, even though he is still in a lot of pain. His loyalty and passion for the club is what have him there."
Furlonge said that playing international cricket and local cricket cannot be compared. "(It is) a different level," the Parkites coach said.
Furlonge said Narine is still committed to playing West Indies cricket, despite being absent in recent years.
"He is really disappointed he could not play in the World Cup. He would have loved to play in the World Cup."