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Saturday May 25, 2024

WI captain trying to coax Narine out of retirement for home World Cup

By Reuters
April 18, 2024
Sunil Narine celebrates after scoring a century during the match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals at Eden Gardens. — AFP/File
Sunil Narine celebrates after scoring a century during the match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals at Eden Gardens. — AFP/File

NEW DELHI: West Indies skipper Rovman Powell said he is trying to persuade all-rounder Sunil Narine to come out of international retirement for the home T20 World Cup in June.

Narine, 35, announced his retirement from international cricket in 2023, four years after playing his last match for West Indies against India.

The spinner remains active in franchise cricket, evolving from a lower-order batter to a flamboyant opener, and his batting prowess was on full display for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League on Tuesday.

Narine smashed 109 off 56 balls and claimed two wickets, including Powell’s, but it was not enough to secure victory, with Jos Buttler leading Rajasthan Royals’ successful chase of 224 with an unbeaten hundred.

“For the last 12 months, I’ve been whispering in his ears, but he’s blocked out everyone,” Powell said, adding that he had even asked senior players to try to get Narine to change his mind.

“Hopefully, before they select the team, they can crack his code.” Narine was cryptic in his response when asked if he would come out of retirement to play in the World Cup, where conditions are expected to be conducive for spinners.

“It is what it is, but let’s see what the future holds,” Narine said. Buttler initially struggled for rhythm in this year’s IPL but his unbeaten 107 was his second century in three games.

“At times you feel frustrated, or you are questioning yourself,” the England captain said at the presentation ceremony. “I was trying to tell myself ‘It would be okay, keep going, at some point you’ll get your rhythm back’.”