Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 28th 2016 Contents A62
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, January 28, 2016
Support continues to grow for T&T
and West Indies off spinner Sunil Narine,
as the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs
has given the spinner $35,000 to help
correct his bowling action in an effort to
represent West Indies at the World T20
Tournament in March.
At a press conference yesterday, which
was attended by members of the T&T
Cricket Board and the Queen's Park Cricket
Club at the Ministry of Sport and Youth
Affairs on Abercromby Street, Port-of-
Spain, Minister Smith presented the cheque
Narine, who has had issues since 2011,
was reported for a suspect bowling action
in November by the International Cricket
Council following the third One-Day Inter-
national against Sri Lanka. After being test-
ed at Loughborough University in England
on November 17, Narine's action was found
to exceed the 15 degrees level of tolerance.
Narine, who has been named on the West
Indies provisional squad for the T20 World
Cup, is hoping to travel to Loughborough
University next month to test his new
action. Narine stated, "I am hoping that
mid February I can do the test. I have been
working hard so hopefully when that time
comes I can pass the test and play for the
West Indies again."
Narine was grateful for the support he
was given over the past two months. He
said, "I would like to thank the coaches
from Queen's Park and the T&T coaches
for helping me, the Government for taking
the initiative to come out and publicly say
they are helping Sunil Narine. I am really
grateful and thankful."
Narine, who has been working with Eng-
lish bowling coach Carl Crowe recently,
admitted that the journey to return to the
international level has been challenging,
but is optimistic that this is the last time
he will go through this ordeal. "It is hard
to come back from this but I think it is a
learning process and it is a process that
nobody wants to go through. If you go
through this you just have to take it as a
stepping stone in your career. You have to
make the best use of it and never let it get
you down and just continue working on
He added, "Hopefully this is the last
time (I am reported) and the next time I
come back is for good." The off spinner
will test out his action on Saturday when
he lines up for Queen's Park in the T&T
Cricket Board (TTCB) 50-over competition.
"Bowling in a club game will allow me to
Smith said the Ministry of Sport and
Youth Affairs was bothered by the news
when Narine was called for an illegal action.
Smith said, "In November when the ban
occurred we were perturbed. We had dis-
cussions with the TTCB and that was part
of the discussions. We are pleased that
before the World T20 they are being proac-
tive and hopefully the situation will be rec-
tified as soon as possible."
Crowe, who played alongside former
T&T and West Indies cricketer Phil Sim-
mons at Leicestershire, said Narine is deter-
mined to play international cricket again.
"What struck me the first time I worked
with him was his work ethic. He is very
diligent in his work. My specialty has been
spin bowling for a number of years and
we are working hard as a team together."
Crowe will examine Narine's new action
on Saturday when Queen's Park faces Vic-
BRIDGETOWN---Batting sensation Chris
Gayle and all-rounder Andre Russell have
both been included in the 15-man West
Indies squad for the Twenty20 World
Cup in India.
The squad, which is yet to be named
officially by the West Indies Cricket Board,
includes embattled off-spinner Sunil Narine
who is currently banned from bowling
Media reports yesterday announced the
squad without Gayle and Russell sparking
some speculation on social media but
sources say the Jamaican pair are definitely
part of the Windies campaign for the March
8 to April 3 tournament.
However, Narine is expected to undergo
testing on his action at Loughborough Uni-
versity in England next month, before con-
firming his spot on the side.
All eyes will be on Gayle, however, espe-
cially after he sparked controversy during
the recent Australia Big Bash with his now
infamous don't blush baby' live television
interview where he appeared to openly flirt
with Channel TEN's Mel McLaughlin.
The 36-year-old left-hander has played
in every T20 World Cup since the inaugural
tournament in South Africa eight years
ago, when he announced himself in the
format with a stunning hundred against
the hosts in Johannesburg.
He has since become arguably the most
valued commodity on the global T20 circuit
and his presence will ensure West Indies
will be installed as one of the early
Only recently, he blasted a 12-ball half-
century in the Big Bash to equal the record
for the fastest ever fifty in T20s.
Russell, meanwhile, has become one of
the most sought after T20 players and last
year plied his trade in the Indian Premier
League, South Africa's Ram Slam, the
Caribbean Premier League, the Bangladesh
Premier League and the Big Bash.
He emerged as one of the leading players
for Sydney Thunder as they wrapped up
the BBL title last week, scoring 185 runs
at a strike rate of 186 while taking 16 wickets
with his pace bowling.
The Windies squad also sees the return
of combative left-arm spinner Sulieman
Benn who has not played for West Indies
since last April after being dropped fol-
lowing England's Test tour of the Caribbean.
Benn, 34, had an outstanding campaign
with the ball in the Regional Super50 which
wrapped up on Sunday in Trinidad and
Tobago, taking 15 wickets to be the tour-
nament's leading bowler.
All-rounder Darren Sammy, who led
West Indies to the T20 World Cup title
four years go in Sri Lanka and into the
semi-finals in Bangladesh in 2014, has
been re-appointed skipper.
West Indies are set to play in Group One
alongside reigning champions Sri Lanka,
South Africa, England and yet-t0-be deter-
mined qualifier. (CMC)
Lara confident of
starring in MCL
DUBAI---Brian Lara has backed himself to play a key
role for Leon Lions in the inaugural Masters Cham-
pions League but does not expect the team to rely
on him solely.
The former West Indies captain is one of several
legendary former players who arrived here this week
for the tournament which runs from today to February
13 and which will also see games played in Abu Dhabi
Lara, who quit international cricket in 2007, leads
a Lions side that includes former West Indies fast
bowler Fidel Edwards, South African Herschelle Gibbs
and England Darre Gough.
"Now it is a bit of a different time, [my] reflexes
may not be the same, but I do expect to play a part,"
Lara told reporters here. "I would not be here if I cannot
play a part in the team's success but we are looking
for team performance more than anything else. We
are a fairly good group of guys and if you can get the
team working well we can win matches." He added:
"I have played matches through most of 2015 and
played in All Stars in America recently. This environment
is a bit more competitive and I don't think the depend-
ency on myself is as great as it was 10 to 15 years ago
playing for the West Indies."
The MCL features six teams, including Virgo Super
Kings, Gemini Arabians, Sagittarius Soldiers, Capricorn
Commanders and Libra Legends. Each team will play
five matches in a round-robin preliminary round with
the top four teams qualifying for the semi-finals. Lara,
who quit international cricket before the onset of the
T20 format, said for him the shortest form of the game
was the most difficult.
"For me Twenty20 is more challenging because in
a Test, as a batsman, I was going out there and taking
my time and getting set and then exploding, whichever
way you want to put it," Lara explained. "This form
of the game for me is little more challenging because
the game is shaped very early, you have limited time
out there and you ve got to get things going, maybe
a couple balls to get settled in and that is not the way
I batted. "For me, Twenty20 is more challenging than
it was in Test cricket." Players like South Africa Jacques
Kallis, Australian Adam Gilchrist and Sri Lankan Mahela
Jayawardene are all contesting the tournament.
Somerset have again signed Chris Gayle for the
early stages of this summer's NatWest T20 Blast.
The West Indies batsman scored 328 runs in just
three games for the club in last season's competition
and has continued his prolific form in Australia's Big
Bash League with the Melbourne Renegades.
He will not arrive in time for Somerset's opening
game against Kent on May 20 but will feature in their
next six games, beginning against Sussex on June 1
and concluding against Hampshire on June 19.
Somerset director of cricket Matt Maynard said:
"We are absolutely delighted to have secured the serv-
ices of Chris Gayle once again. He is a genuinely
world-class player and was absolutely phenomenal
for us last year. "Taunton was absolutely rocking when
he was out in the middle last year and Somerset fans
can look forward to more of the same in 2016."
Gayle added: "I really enjoyed my time at Somerset
last year. It's a great club and the supporters were
absolutely incredible. "I'm looking forward to seeing
the fans again and to scoring some more runs. Hopefully
I can help the club make it through to the later stages
of the NatWest T20 Blast."
There is the potential for Gayle to return later in
the season should Somerset reach the knock-out
Gayle scored 260 runs in the BBL at an average of
32.50 and a strike rate of 155.68, but his campaign
was marred by controversy over sexist comments the
36-year-old made to Channel 10's pitchside reporter
Gayle, Russell in World Cup squad
WEST INDIES---Darren Sammy
(captain), Lendl Simmons, Chris
Gayle, Darren Bravo, Dwayne Bravo,
Keiron Pollard, Marlon Samuels,
Denesh Ramdin, Samuel Badree,
Sulieman Benn, Sunil Narine, Andre
Fletcher, Jason Holder, Jerome Taylor,
Support grows for Narine
...Ministry gives $35,000 to spinner
right, has the
T&T and West
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