Sunil Narine has been cleared of having a suspect bowling action and has been taken off the warning list, the IPL said Sunday.

The Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) have vowed to support Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and West Indies spinner Sunil Narine after he was reported for a suspect bowling action in the IPL last week.

The 32-year-old mystery spinner was reported during the team’s win over Kings XI Punjab last week.  Although the player remains free to bowl, until a second report is made, he was not selected by the KKR for their clash against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Monday.

It was not the first occasion that the spinner action has been placed under the microscope.  He was suspended in 2014 after being called in successive matches during the Champions League Twenty20.  The player missed out on the World Cup the following year, while he worked on his remodeled action.

It is reported that his bowling coach Carl Crowe is with him at the tournament and will help the player work through any issues.  Dr Nigel Camacho, acting president of Narine’s parent club Queen’s Park, believes the issue can be sorted with minimal fuss.

“As his parent club, we’ll continue to support him,” said Camacho. “We have brought in the Australian (Crowe). He has a great relationship with his coach at Queen’s Park, David Furlonge. Whatever Sunil needs at Queen’s Park, we are very willing to give him support.

“If they suspect that there is something amiss with his action, we’ll support Sunil 100 percent and we’ll make sure he can perform to the best of his ability,” he added.

“He had this before and he came back almost as strong or stronger than before. Narine is just a fantastic bowler. Even if he is to make a change to his action, I am confident he will be back stronger than before.”

Former England captain Kevin Pietersen believes the Kolkata Knight Riders could well afford to do without Sunil Narine, should he be suspended, as the spinner does not have the same impact as in years gone by.

The 32-years-old West Indies bowler does indeed face the threat of suspension after being reported for a suspect action during KKR’s victory over Kings XI Punjab last week.  The spinner is allowed to continue bowling, for now, but another report to the Indian Premier League (IPL) would see Narine suspended until cleared by the BCCI Suspect Bowling Action Committee.

Narine had performed heroics for KKR after defending 14 runs off the final over, to help his team register a stunning 2 runs victory over KXIP.  Despite that, however, Pietersen insists the bowler has not quite been at the same level since his last suspension.  Narine was previously suspended in 2015 when he was ranked No. 2 on the ODI and T20 rankings.  His action was reported as suspect in successive matches during the Champions League Twenty20.  It resulted in his missing out on playing in the final for Kolkata Knight Riders, who lost to Chennai Super Kings.

“If I am honest, I am not so sure it (Sunil Narine absence) is a massive loss. Andre Russell is the guy you spend time talking about in team meetings. When he bowls, you are thinking about it. When he bats, you are thinking about it. It is the same when he is fielding,” Pietersen said on Star Sports.

“Sunil Narine has not been the same bowler for a few years now. He hasn’t had his best; he hasn’t had his real big spin. Coming to Sharjah, it is not something you are really worried about Sunil Narine. And then the bowlers have found him out in his batting. You bowl him short, he doesn’t like it,” Pietersen added.

All-rounders Sunil Narine and Andre Russell bounced back with the ball to spearhead Kolkata Knight Riders' 10-run win over Chennai Super Kings in a low-scoring Indian Premier League encounter.

Narine, who has struggled with the bat throughout this IPL, and fellow West Indian Russell were two of those who failed to deliver as Kolkata were bowled out in 20 overs for 167, a total that owed much to Rahul Tripathi's 81 as he repaid the decision to promote him to open.

Chennai were confident of chasing their modest target when Shane Watson (50) and Ambati Rayudu (30) made 69 for the second wicket.

However, some brilliant death bowling from Narine (1-31) and Russell (1-18) meant the Super Kings came up short with 157-5.

Kolkata were indebted to Tripathi's 51-ball knock, which included eight fours and three sixes, as their star-studded middle order for once failed to show up.

Narine, who had been opening, was dropped down to four but could only make 17, while Eoin Morgan (7) and Russell (2) had rare off-days as Dwayne Bravo (3-37) led the Super Kings' fine bowling display.

There was then a boundary in each of Chennai's first 10 overs and they were coasting when requiring 69 off the final 48 balls with nine wickets in hand.

Yet Narine - who bowled overs 12, 14, 16 and 19 - applied the handbrake, along with Russell, whose two-over figures would have look much better had Ravindra Jadeja not struck the final three balls of the innings for an ultimately frivolous 14.

 

BATTING SHAKE-UP PAYS OFF FOR KNIGHT RIDERS

Kolkata's problems in the early stages of the tournament were due to a lack of big scores, with top scorer Shubman Gill down in 13th in the IPL for runs.

However, Tripathi hit their highest individual score in their five games so far, and boy was it needed given the rest of the order's struggles.

 

BOUNDARY DROUGHT COSTS SUPER KINGS

At 90-1 at the halfway point, Chennai were cruising and required only 78 from 60.

However, they failed to find or clear the ropes across the next 33 deliveries and were then left needing 55 off 27. It was that barren patch in the middle of their reply that ultimately proved their undoing.

Prithvi Shaw and Shreyas Iyer led the way as Delhi Capitals moved to the top of the Indian Premier League table with an 18-run victory over Kolkata Knight Riders. 

The Capitals posted 228-4 - the highest total of this year's IPL - as Shaw (66) and Ayer (88 not out) shone at the top of the order before Rishabh Pant chipped in with a 17-ball 38. 

Kolkata would surpass 200 too as both teams reached that landmark total for a third successive game in Sharjah, Eoin Morgan (44) and Rahul Tripathi (36) smashing 47 runs from the 17th and 18th overs. 

However, the Knight Riders would come up short in making 210-8 as Anrich Nortje (3-33) helped the Capitals make it three wins from four.

Delhi had three half-century partnerships at the start of their innings and Iyer, who crashed six maximums and seven fours, and Pant did most of the damage as the Capitals accumulated 77 runs in the final five overs. 

The Knight Riders were well short at the halfway point of their reply at 94-3 and they lost Nitish Rana (58) and captain Dinesh Karthik in back-to-back balls to Harshal Patel in the 13th over. 

A rapid 44 off 18 deliveries from England's limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan raised their hopes, but he fell in the penultimate over to Nortje, who gave up just five runs across those six balls, leaving Kolkata with too much to do.

 

LEAN RETURNS FOR NARINE 

Kolkata have won two of their opening four games, but no one has struggled for them more than opener Sunil Narine. Bowled by Nortje for three here, meaning he has made just a combined 27 runs in four innings at the tournament. 

"We will discuss Narine's role with the coaches, but I have got full confidence in Narine," Karthik said afterwards. 

NORTJE COMES TO RABADA'S RESCUE 

Kagiso Rabada is the joint-leading wicket-taker in this edition of the IPL with eight victims, but he had a hard time against Morgan, who smashed the South African paceman for three successive sixes at the start of the 18th over, a pair of short balls and an attempted yorker getting the treatment. 

Fortunately for Rabada, compatriot Nortje removed Morgan in the next over to kill off the Knight Riders' hopes. 

A fine all-round bowling display saw Trinbago Knight Riders win the battle of the unbeaten teams and go to the top of the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) table. Glenn Phillips was the only standout for the Jamaica Tallawahs as the power-hitters struggled for fluency, and Sunil Narine’s second consecutive 50 did the bulk of the work even as the Knight Riders took their time about the chase.

Sunil Narine’s whirlwind 50 and miserly 2 for 19 saw Trinbago Knight Riders kick off the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2020 in style, easing past Guyana Amazon Warriors in the tournament opener, at Tarouba, despite Shimron Hetmyer’s unbeaten 63 off just 44 balls.

West Indies players account for the lions share of those considered the best to ever play the game as SportsMax completed its Ultimate XI T20 team ahead of the start of the Hero Caribbean Premier League on Tuesday.

A combination of a panel of experts, the SportsMax Zone, and fans who voted online called fanalysts completed voting on the SportsMax Ultimate XI team with a final discussion on three impact players.

The final six players from which the three were chosen were West Indians

Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, and Andre Russell, Australian Shane Watson, Pakistani Shahid Afridi, and Indian Yuvraj Singh.

The panel, made up of cricket commentator and broadcast journalist, Fazeer Mohammed, cricket umpire Chris Taylor, and statistician, Zaheer Clarke, picked an all-West Indian cast as their impact players, in complete agreement with the SportsMax Zone and Fanalysts.

There was one dissenting voice among the panellists with Fazeer deciding on Shane Watson over Kieron Pollard, however, Clarke and Taylor’s votes were enough to overrule him.

With all parties, the Zone, the panel, and fanalysts in agreement, the final list of the greatest T20 team of all time is complete.

The openers are Chris Gayle and David warner, the middle-order, batsmen 3-5 are Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the bowlers are Sunil Narine, Rashid Khan and Lasith Malinga, while the impact players are Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Powell and Andre Russell.

The Ultimate XI T20 team is made up of five West Indians in Gayle, Narine, Bravo, Pollard, and Russell, while Kohli and Dhoni make up the Indian contingent. Then there is the South African representation in de Villiers, one Australian in Warner, a Sri Lankan in Malinga, and the Afghan Rashid.

Cricket West Indies Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams has insisted on the development of a world-class Test cricket spinner would be a multi-tiered and complicated process.

While the Windies have produced top-quality spinners in the shortest format of the game, with the likes of Devendra Bishoo and Sunil Narine.  The fact that neither has really made the transition to the red-ball format, means it is another area that continues to be lacking for the team.

 In fact, it could be argued that the last West Indies world-class spinner to dominate Test cricket was Lance Gibbs who represented the team in the 60s and 70s.  Gibbs claimed 309 Test wickets.  Creating another player of Gibbs caliber, for Test cricket, is not a simple process.

“It’s a combination of quite a few things.  The first thing is to keep making sure that we encourage spin bowling throughout the region, but also to ensure that the environment in which they are developing their skill is one that can develop world-class slow bowling,” Adams told the Mason and Guest radio program.

In the West Indies regional tournaments, it is spinners that have dominated the bowling in recent years.  For at least the last five years a spinner has taken the most wickets in the WICB Regional 4-day tournament. The honour has been achieved by Rahkeem Cornwall, with Veerasammy Permaul and Nikita Miller achieving it twice.

“Good cricket wickets play a big role in player development, not just spinners but obviously it does for spinners as well.  The Indian spinners in the 90s proved that if you didn’t have wickets that got outside your region, you would struggle whenever you went outside the region,” he added.

“Also, though, we have to improve the quality of batting against spin bowling because spin bowlers also develop their craft by bowling to good batsmen.  You don’t want a spinner to see high-quality batting for the first time when they leave the region.”

 

 

 

 

Fans and the SportsMax Zone were not in agreement with a panel of experts, who made a decision on its picks for SportsMax’s Ultimate XI T20 bowlers today.

The panel on the set of the Zone, made up of former West Indies fast bowler and cricket commentator Ian Bishop, cricket umpire Chris Taylor, and statistician Zaheer Clarke, along with Tom Moody and Vernon Singer (offset), have picked Sunil Narine, Rashid Khan and Lasith Malinga as their three bowlers.

The Afghan Rashid, the Sri Lankan Malinga and the West Indian Narine, were picked from a group of six that included India’s Jasprit Bumrah, South Africa’s Dale Steyn, and Australia’s Mitchell Starc.

Jasprit’s exclusion is where the bone of contention lies.

According to the SportsMax Zone, while Malinga and Narine are shoo-ins, Rashid was not.

In Rashid’s stead, the Zone has picked Jasprit.

In coming up with SportsMax’s Ultimate XI T20, there is a three-way split in the decision-making process with the panel’s picks accounting for 40% of votes, while the Zone has 25, and fans who vote online have a 35% stake in who makes the team.

Fans, so far, have agreed with the SprotsMax Zone’s take on the three best bowlers the T20 game has ever seen, also picking Jasprit to go alongside Narine and Malinga.

There is still an opportunity for the fans to change their minds, but at the moment, they are joining the zone in beating back the opinions of the expert panel.

So far, the panel has picked Chris Gayle and David Warner as its openers, Virat Kohli, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, and AB de Villiers as its middle order to go along with Rashid, Narine and Malinga as its bowlers.

Tomorrow the panel will go about whittling down what are termed impact players in a bid to come up with its version of an Ultimate XI.

The Zone has differed in small ways to date, picking Rohit Sharma to go along with Gayle as well as picking Jasprit over Rashid.

Fans have stuck even closer to the panel to date. As far as openers and the middle order are concerned they are in complete agreement but have veered away with the bowling choices, choosing the same way as the Zone.

But the voting isn’t finished and fans, called fanalysts, can vote by clicking here or going to SportsMax.tv and just clicking on the Ultimate XI tab at the top of the screen.

SportsMax.tv has also built a list of profiles where Fanalysts can go to have a look at the careers of the players who have made the SportsMax Ultimate XI shortlist just in case you want to learn a little more about them before making your choice. To take a look at those players click here.

There is no place in the final XI set of SportsMax Ultimate XI T20 bowlers for a man who, at one time or another, was the world’s foremost T20 bowler after a panel of experts had to make tough choices to reduce a shortlist of the best in the format of all time.

A panel made up of cricket umpire Chris Taylor, former Australian cricketer and commentator Tom Moody, and regional commentator Vernon Springer, today on the SportsMax Zone, had to bring a not-so-short shortlist of 17 bowlers down to six for final discussion tomorrow where another panel will pick three for SportsMax’s Ultimate XI T20 team.

Samuel Badree will not be part of that discussion.

The team is picked through a combination of voting among fans, the panel, and the SportsMax Zone’s team.

Fans vote online, with their collective decision amounting to 35% of the vote, while the Zone team’s votes amount to 25%. The panel has the lion’s share of the percentage with their vote counting for 40%.

Today, the panel had to decide among a group made up of Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga and Ajantha Mendis; Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Sohail Tanvir and Wahab Riaz; Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan; Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan; West Indies’ Sunil Narine, Badree, and Dwayne Bravo; South Africa’s Imran Tahir and Dale Steyn; India’s Jasprit Bumrah; along with Australia’s Dirk Nannes and Mitchell Starc, who would remain in the discussion for a second evening.

From that list, Afridi, Shakib, Umar, Saeed, Ajantha, Imran, Sohail, Badree, Nannes, Wahab, and Bravo, were all cut.

In the case of Bravo, the panel felt the all-rounder would be better suited as one of the Impact Players, a discussion that is to come down the line.

Badree, on the other hand, was seen as limited and not offering as much flexibility as would Rashid or Narine.

According to the panel, Taylor in particular, Badree is at his best when opening the bowling, while Narine and Rashid are useful throughout an innings.

The SportsMax Zone, in response, found no fault with the eventual six the panel came up with. The Zone and panel will discuss the merits and flaws of Malinga, Rashid, Narine, Steyn, Jasprit, and Starc before coming up with a final three.

While fans, call fanalysts, have not yet made up their mind on the three bowlers who would make up their Ultimate XI, there has been a trend that suggests their six for final discussion.

According to fans, Malinga, Narine, Jasprit, Rashid, Bravo, and Nannes would be the six they would have under consideration tomorrow.

Fanalysts can vote by clicking here or going to SportsMax.tv and just clicking on the Ultimate XI tab at the top of the screen.

SportsMax.tv has also built a list of profiles where Fanalysts can go to have a look at the careers of the players who have made the SportsMax Ultimate XI shortlist just in case you want to learn a little more about them before making your choice. To take a look at those players click here.

Sunil Narine, a mystery spinner, caught the West Indies selectors' attention by taking all 10 wickets in a trial match and received a call up to the Trinidad & Tobago squad in January 2009.  Every time Narine came to bowl, he looked like taking a wicket. His arsenal of carrom balls, knuckle balls and skidders led West Indies to the World T20 title in 2012.

He was one of the chief architects of Kolkata Knight Riders' two title victories in 2012 and 2014 - well worth the investment they put in him. He was bought at US $700,000 in 2012, promptly became the Man of the Tournament and has been retained by the franchise ever since.

Narine once bowled more overs than runs conceded in a Twenty20 match, with 21 dot balls out of 24 in the Caribbean Premier League 2014. After nearly 650 overs, he went into IPL 2016 with 216 wickets at an economy rate of 5.52.

He was ranked the No. 1 bowler in T20Is when he was picked for the World T20 in 2016.

 

Career Statistics (2011-present)

Full name: Sunil Philip Narine

Born: May 26, 1988, Arima, Trinidad & Tobago (32)

Major teams: West Indies, Barisal Burners, Cape Cobras, Comilla Victorians, Dhaka Dynamites, Guyana Amazon Warriors, Kolkata Knight Riders, Lahore Qalandars, Melbourne Renegades, Montreal Tigers, Quetta Gladiators, Sydney Sixers, Trinbago Knight Riders, Trinidad & Tobago, Trinidad & Tobago XI, West Indies A, West Indies Under-19s

Playing role: Bowling allrounder

Bowling style: Right-arm off-break

 

T20I Career

Mat        Inns        Balls      Runs      Wkts      BBI         BBM        Ave        Econ      SR       4w          5w       10w

51            49          1102      1105        52         4/12         4/12       21.25       6.01     21.1       1             0           0

T20 Career

Mat        Inns        Balls     Runs      Wkts      BBI         BBM      Ave       Econ      SR         4w          5w           10w

336         331         7682      7720       379        5/19        5/19      20.36     6.02       20.2       11           1               0

 

Career Highlights

  • 52 T20I wickets 51 matches at 21.25
  • 15 T20 WC scalps in 12 matches at 15.40
  • 3rd best T20I economy rate (6.01)
  • 3rd most wickets in T20 matches (379)
  • IPL player of the tournament 2012 & 2018
  • Named in the all-time Cricinfo IPL XI
  • #1 wicket-taker in Champions League T20 history with 39 scalps

Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Lendl Simmons, Sunil Narine and Darren Bravo are among 10 players retained by the Trinbago Knight Riders for the 2020 CPL season.

West Indies star allrounder Andre Russell is set to undergo a fitness test with a view to making him part of the region’s bid for a third lien on the Twenty20 World Cup set for Australia this year.

It has been more than a year and a half since Russell last represented the West Indies in a T20 International with the 2019 World Cup marking the last time he suited up for the side.

During that World Cup Russell was unable to finish a game without treatment and seemed in real pain. He had to do knee surgery after limping out of one game, but seems on the comeback trail, having played in a number of domestic T20 games around the world.

“Hopefully, in the next few weeks he will undergo what is described by the medical team as a return-to-play protocol,” said Cricket West Indies CEO Johnny Grave.

“So he will go through a fitness test to see how his knees have recovered from the injuries that he suffered and allowing us to see if he would be passed fit medically – which is the first stage – and injury free in terms of his ability to both bat and bowl.

“He would then build up his fitness levels and hopefully through performances in the Indian Premier League (IPL) make himself available for selection for the West Indies.”

Russell is expected to turn out for the Kolkata Knight Riders when the IPL season bowls off on March 29 later this year.

Russell’s partner at KKR, mystery spinner Sunil Narine is also somebody the West Indies are keeping a close watch on.

Narine played through a finger injury during last year’s Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL), and has also, for a number of years, struggled with his action.

“He’s obviously been a player that has been a fantastic servant and player for West Indies, particularly in white ball cricket, but at this stage, Sunil is still working on his action,” said Grave.

“He obviously had the finger injury which took him out and made him struggle to bowl, and we’re hoping that he’s going to be fully fit … and be able to bowl his full portfolio of deliveries for the IPL and then fingers crossed, from the West Indies point of view, all goes well and he can follow that through into the CPL and hopefully be in form and be available for the World Cup.”

The T20 World Cup in Australia takes place in October.

Given the two T20 World Cups under the belt of the West Indies, it may be no surprise that the Caribbean side has dominated ESPN’s best XI in the format over the last decade.

ESPN had come up with a list of its best XI in Test, One-Day and T20 Internationals and while there were no West Indians in the two longer formats of the game, they may have made up for it in the shortest.

At the top of the order comes Chris Gayle, T20’s all-time leading run-scorer. Interestingly, the opening spots have been covered by the West Indies with Sunil Narine earning a pick for his innovative pinch-hitting at the top of the order.

India’s Virat Kohli comes at number three in the batting line-up, with South Africa’s AB de Villiers locking down number four.

At five, ESPN has gone with another Indian in veteran Mahendra Singh Doni before turning again to the Caribbean where West Indies white-ball captain Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell can decide who bats six and seven.

At number eight, the best in the world this decade, according to the writers at ESPN, comes Dwayne Bravo before the leg-spin option of Rashid Khan. Narine, is, of course, the other spinner in the side.

Sri Lankan great, Lasith Malinga makes the best team of the decade next, while Jasprith Bumrah finds his way into the side as the second seamer. The two are seen as the best death bowlers in the world because of their ability to bowl Yorkers.

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