Windies urged to reconsider Narine exclusion

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The West Indies Cricket Board have been implored to reconsider spin bowler Sunil Narine for the first Test squad, ahead of this month's three-match series against New Zealand.

The West Indies Cricket Board have been implored to reconsider spin bowler Sunil Narine for the first Test squad, ahead of this month's three-match series against New Zealand.

Narine was not selected after choosing to represent the Kolkata Knight Riders in Sunday's Indian Premier League final against the Kings XI Punjab in Bangalore, rather than return to the Caribbean for a preparatory camp.

"I put it to you that allowing Narine to participate in the final of the IPL on 1 June as a West Indian, as an ambassador of Caribbean brilliance and then ensuring that he arrives at the West Indian training camp post haste does not, will not, and cannot breach any of the tenets of your country first policy," Trinidad and Tobago sports minister Anil Roberts insisted in a letter to WICB president Dave Cameron.

"In fact, this addendum to the policy which may serve Sunil today, will serve Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Smith, Lendl Simmons, Krishmar Santokie and any other great West Indies Cricketers in the future.

"Narine is not on holiday with his family, he is not shopping, and he is not viewing the NBA play-offs. He is plying his professional trade in what stands as the epitome of international quality cricket in the world today.

"He is plying that trade not for himself but for the people of the Caribbean who will turn on their television sets and tune in with 1.3 billion people across the globe to support the West Indian Narine."

The 26-year-old Narine has enjoyed a fine stretch of form this month, gathering the second most wickets in the lucrative Twenty20 tournament, including a telling haul of four for 20 against the Royal Challengers Bangalore.

"For us to ask any player to forego the opportunity to grasp greatness to attend the first few days of a training camp is itself in breach of the very policy that it is designed to uphold, for there can be no greater preparation or training, than plying your trade at peak adrenalin, peak emotional levels, peak risk factors, peak psychological levels," added Roberts.

The Windies and Black Caps will meet for three Tests – in Jamaica, Trinidad and a venue to be confirmed – and two Twenty20 Internationals – in Dominica – between 8 June and 6 July.

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