MUMBAI: England skipper Eoin Morgan voiced sympathy Tuesday for West Indies spinner Sunil Narine after the number one-ranked bowler pulled out of the World Twenty20 following his suspension for a suspect action.
The West Indies’ hopes of winning the tournament were dealt a severe blow last month when Narine withdrew from the squad, saying he was not ready to return to the international fold after work to remodel his action.
But while Narine’s absence from the World T20 is something of a relief for Morgan’s team who play the West Indies in their opening match on Wednesday, the England skipper said he felt for his former team-mate.
“I think it’s a very touchy subject. I know Sunil. I’m not pleased to see what he’s going through. I wouldn’t wish it upon anybody,” Morgan told reporters in Mumbai.
The 27-year-old Trinidadian was suspended in November after being cited during a match in Sri Lanka for a suspect bowling action, the second time he has been reported for an illegal action. Morgan and Narine have played together for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League (IPL), a competition in which the spinner has regularly bamboozled opponents.
“He’s bowled the same way since he was probably 15 or 16 years old. The fact he’s got to this stage in his career and it’s only being looked at now is probably disappointing from his point of view,” said Morgan.
“But there are set rules in place that are being applied.” West Indies skipper Darren Sammy acknowledged in his pre-match press conference that Narine would be a big loss, along with allrounder Kieron Pollard who also pulled out of the squad after an injury setback.
“It’s always really difficult to replace someone like Narine or Pollard who have so much experience here,” said Sammy. “Yes we’ll miss them, but it creates another opportunity for somebody else to step up to the plate.”
Despite not playing since November, Narine is still way ahead of his nearest rivals in the T20 international rankings. Narine was a key member of the West Indies team which won the 2012 World T20, taking three wickets for just nine runs in the final against Sri Lanka in Colombo.