KIERON Pollard, captain of the West Indies T20 team, has shied away from the non-selection of experienced off-spinner Sunil Narine from the 15-man squad, who will be defending their ICC T20 World Cup title in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman, from October 17 to November 14.
Narine had a Man of the Match performance for KKR against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Monday’s IPL (Indian Premier League) eliminator, where he took four wickets for 21 runs and struck 26 off 15 balls.
In the recent Caribbean Premier League (CPL), Narine served as vice-captain to Pollard in the Trinbago Knight Riders team, where he bagged 12 wickets.
But the 33-year-old Narine, who has not played international cricket since the India tour of the Caribbean in 2019, was left out of the World Cup squad as he failed to meet the Cricket West Indies (CWI) minimum fitness requirement.
Pollard said in a zoom media conference on Tuesday, "If I add my two cents of how his non-inclusion came about, then it could be spun like how he’s bowling on these Sharjah wickets, in all different directions.
“Let's deal with the 15 guys that we have here, which is more important, and see if we can rally around these guys.”
Pollard also touched on Narine’s teammate at the KKR – all-rounder Andre Russell – who was named in the West Indies 15-man World Cup squad.
Russell is recovering from an injured right hamstring, which he sustained on September 26 against Chennai Super Kings.
Pollard said, “We need to do our assessment first as a team. We haven’t had the opportunity to see him. We’ve gotten reports as to what he has done. He's a critical person for our team and we'll love for him to be 100 per cent.”