West Indies have been dealt big blows ahead of next month’s World Twenty20, with both Kieron Pollard and Sunil Narine withdrawing from the 15-man squad.
A WICB release said that Pollard pulled out due to “lack of sufficient progress in his rehabilitative work”, while Narine’s reason was “insufficient progress in the rehabilitative work on his bowling action”. Narine is currently banned from bowling in internationals. Allrounder Carlos Brathwaite has been named as Pollard’s replacement, though the WICB is yet to find a player to take Narine’s spot in the squad.
Narine had been reported for a suspect action during the third ODI on West Indies’ tour to Sri Lanka last November, and an independent assessment later revealed that all variations of his deliveries exceeded the 15-degree limit. Narine had earlier been picked in the West Indies squad for the 2015 World Cup, but also withdrew from that tournament to work on his bowling action, which was first reported during the 2014 Champions League T20.
Both Pollard and Narine had been picked in the initial World T20 squad despite not being given annual retainer contracts by the WICB. Pollard had even been controversially axed from the 2015 World Cup squad, though Michael Muirhead, the WICB’s chief executive, later stressed that every player had an equal chance of being selected for the World T20.
Pollard has not played any form of cricket since November, when a knee injury abruptly ended his Ram Slam T20 Challenge campaign and ruled him out of the Big Bash League. Both Pollard and Narine last turned out for West Indies on November 11, against Sri Lanka in Colombo.
West Indies are in Group 1 of the Super 10 stage at the World T20, along with England, South Africa, Sri Lanka and a qualifying team from the first round of the tournament. The squad will assemble in the UAE for a preparatory camp between February 22 and March 6, and will travel to India on March 7