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New Delhi: May 30, 2014
The raging ‘Club versus Country’ debate again came to the forefront as ace spinner Sunil Narine faces a possible exclusion from the Test team, if he plays the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 final for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) thereby failing to meet the deadline joining the West Indies camp latest by June 1.
The West Indies are scheduled to play their first Test against New Zealand at Kingston in Jamaica from June 8. Keeping in mind players like Narine and Chris Gayle, who are integral part of their respective IPL franchises, the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) had extended the deadline of joining national camp from May 22 to June 1.
With Narine playing a vital role in KKR’s triumphant journey to the final scheduled on June 1, the IPL franchise will not let the ‘Mystery Spinner’ leave before summit “It is his decision,” WICB’s CEO Michael Muirhead told ESPN Cricinfo.
“The cut-off date for joining the camp was moved forward from May 22 to June 1 specifically to allow those players involved in the IPL the opportunity for more matches. Anyone who is in breach won’t be considered for selection,” Muirhead made WICB’s position clear on the issue.
However Narine would remain in the chosen squad of 15 and be eligible for playing in the remainder of the series. KKR CEO Venky Mysore, on his part, requested a bit of flexibility on the part of WICB which will enable Narine to play the IPL final.
“This is in no way an act of defiance by Sunil,” Mysore was quoted as saying by the website. “He is seeking the board’s flexibility for a couple of days leeway so that he can turn out for Knight Riders on Sunday. He has told us that he came to do a job and wants to see it through to its conclusion. He also wants to represent West Indies against New Zealand. You can understand the quandary that he is in,” Mysore added.
The WICB has now taken its position following its acceptance of the “West Indies First” policy proposed by director of cricket, Richard Pybus, last March. This lists the principle of the “prioritisation of Test cricket as the pinnacle of West Indies cricket and its protection through priority team selection and strategic scheduling”.
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