Mystery spinner Sunil Narine has been selected on the West Indies team for the limited overs segment of their upcoming tour to Sri Lanka.
This is welcome news for the West Indies, as Narine last represented the region back at the World T20 in Bangladesh last year. He was then no-balled for an alleged illegal bowling action during the Champions Trophy in India and since then has been out of action at the international level while working on fine tuning his action.
During the period of exile from international cricket, the Queen’s Park player has been actively involved in ODI cricket for the Red Force and T20 cricket for the Guyana Amazon Warriors.
Also making a return to the West Indies ODI outfit is fast bowler Ravi Rampaul, who has been putting in the hard work at the National Cricket Centre (NCC) in Trinidad with the T&T Red Force team.
The other locals on the team are opener Lendl Simmons, middle order batsman Darren Bravo and wicketkeeper/batsman Denesh Ramdin.
Of note though is the continued exclusion of all rounders Dwayne Bravo and Keiron Pollard who have been overlooked for ODI cricket, since the aborted tour of India last October. Bravo was at the helm of the regional team when they decided against completing their tour of India due to a payment structure dispute with the WICB.
Immediately after they were excluded from the West Indies ODI team for the tour of South Africa, although they got slotted in for the T20 matches. They were also snubbed for the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup in New Zealand and Australia.
Recently, there was an attempt by new coach Phil Simmons to get Bravo and Pollard involved in the team set up but it is understood that talks broke down due to the decrease in match fees offered for Test cricket. The players were however still interested in playing ODI and T20 cricket for the Caribbean side.
The West Indies tour of Sri Lanka opens with the first Test at Galle on October 14. They play the second Test match at Colombo from October 20 and this will be followed by three ODI matches and two T20 clashes.
Recently, the WICB changed the leadership of the Test side and Barbadian Jason Holder will travel to Sri Lanka at the helm, replacing Ramdin who was on the job for 15 months.
Holder will also be captain of the ODI side which he started back in January against South Africa, while St Lucian Darren Sammy, who led the West Indies to a World T20 title back in 2012, will stay as captain of the team for the T20 matches.