Andre Russell says he can't live off his stats after he retires © IANS
Andre Russell says he can’t live off his stats after he retires © IANS

Sydney: West Indies swashbuckling batsman Andre Russell has defended his preference of playing in the lucrative Twenty20 tournaments instead of representing his troubled national side, saying that he has the right to set himself up financially from cricket. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the Jamaican all-rounder had told national selectors not to choose him for the five-day format as he couldn’t endure the tough conditions of Test matches. Russell, for whom the Big Bash will be the fifth domestic Twenty20 tournament of the year, claimed that his household needs wouldn’t be fulfilled just by playing in the West Indies team. ALSO READ: Chris Gayle ready to play for West Indies against Australia in Boxing Day Test

“As a professional you have to think about living after cricket. You can’t go into a supermarket and say … I used to play for West Indies, I had 10  half-centuries, 15 hundreds, you can’t get groceries like that – you have to live,” Russell said. “You can’t be begging on the road, you can’t live off your stats.”

 

He added that he could not simply survive only on runs he had accumulated during his international career. Last week, the once-formidable West Indies suffered a humiliating innings and 212-run defeat to the mighty Australians in the first Test of the three-match series in Hobart.

Describing the opening Test match as ‘funny’, Russell said that he was eagerly waiting to see what would happen on the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne. He, however, downplayed his side’s chances of defeating Australia in the remaining Tests. West Indies’ premium cricketers like Chris Gayle, Keiron Pollard, Samuel Badree, Darren Sammy, Russell and Bravo have preferred to play in the money-driven T20 tournaments rather than for their nation.