THE DOOR temporarily closed on one West Indian cricketer yesterday and opened for another.
Sunil Narine, a mystery off-spinner who has marked his introduction to international cricket with a string of impressive performances, will be unavailable for the imminent Digicel Test series against Australia.
Narine has jetted off to India for the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL), having landed a US$700 000 deal with the Kolkata Knight Riders.
While Narine, 23, misses out on the chance of an inevitable Test debut, there was speculation last night that batting all-rounder Narsingh Deonarine was set to earn a recall to the West Indies team for the first time in almost two years.
The 28-year-old Deonarine, who played the last of his eight Tests and 20 One-Day Internationals against South Africa in 2010, performed creditably for Guyana in the 2012 regional WICB Four-Day Tournament in which he tops the run charts with 582 runs (ave. 44.76) that includes six half-centuries.
For good measure, Deonarine used his handy off-spin with telling effect in grabbing 20 wickets (ave. 16.90) including a career-best haul of seven for 26 against Barbados, in which he also made 84 and won the Man Of The Match award.
While some of the players started to assemble in Barbados yesterday in time for the opening Test starting on Saturday at Kensington Oval, there was no official announcement of the 13-man squad.
MIDWEEK SPORT investigations revealed that some West Indian players with IPL contracts had negotiated with the WICB an arrangement in which they would be available for part of the Test series and some of the IPL.
Narine, however, will participate in the entire IPL, which opens today and runs until May 27, according to the Kolkata Knight Riders’ chief executive officer Venky Mysore in an interview with ESPNcricinfo.
All-rounder Dwayne Bravo, West Indies vice-captain for the One-Day International and Twenty20 series against Australia, used his Twitter account on Sunday to tell fans he was enjoying his last day in the Caribbean before going off to the IPL.
Reports from India also suggested that big-hitting Kieron Pollard had landed on the subcontinent, but it is believed that both Darren Bravo and Marlon Samuels will be available for the start of the Test series.
It is expected that there will be a recall for fast bowler Ravi Rampaul, West Indies’ pace spearhead over the past 12 months before he was sidelined because of a recent shoulder injury.
Possible squad: Darren Sammy (captain), Adrian Barath, Kraigg Brathwaite, Kirk Edwards, Darren Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Marlon Samuels, Narsingh Deonarine, Carlton Baugh, Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach, Fidel Edwards, Devendra Bishoo.