MUMBAI – The “Big Cat” isn’t scatching around.
Chief West Indies cricket selector Clive Lloyd has suggested the possibility of a sinister motive behind the decision to suspend ace off-spinner Sunil Narine from bowling for Kolkata Knight Riders in today’s Champions League T20 final against Chennai Super Kings because of a suspect bowling action.
However, Lloyd has disclosed that the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and the West Indies team management had been told that Narine would be under the microscope in India by a source whose identity he did not disclose.
“Before we came here we were told that they were going to call Narine, so it’s quite obvious that something must have been said somewhere,” Lloyd said.
“I really can’t tell you that [who it was] but I can tell you it’s a highly reliable source, because we have to make contingency plans for things like that just in case it happens.”
The former West Indies captain has questioned the timing of Narine’s suspension, saying the decision could be “destroying” to him as well as hurting the team’s chances in the forthcoming tour of India and in the World Cup.
The West Indies will play five One-Day Internationals and a T20 against India, followed by a three-match Test series.
Narine’s bowling ban is restricted only to the Champions League and other tournaments under the auspices of the Board of Control for Cricket in India like the Indian Premier League.
He has been advised to remain in Hyderabad while the Kolkata Knight Riders team moved to Bangalore for the Champions League T20 final.
He is said to be awaiting further instructions from the WICB, on whether to join his West Indies teammates in Mumbai or Kochi or to return home.
“We will have to take that decision in a day or so. I am very disappointed because he is an exciting cricketer,” Lloyd said while at Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai, where West Indies lost a one-day warm-up tour game by nine wickets against India “A”.
“The point is, just like [Muttiah] Muralitharan, because your action is different, doesn’t mean that you are throwing,” Lloyd said.
Reports suggest that a decision will be arrived at before Monday when the West Indies squad leave Mumbai for Kochi, which will host the first ODI on Wednesday.
Lloyd said he hopes the International Cricket Council (ICC), which has remained silent on the issue, will intervene in the matter, even though it doesn’t govern the Champions League T20.
“I think it’s wrong the way they have gone about it and I have been involved in the ICC for years [as a match referee and technical committee chief] and I think you cannot just ban a guy just like that.
“This is a guy who has played for us all over the world, not only in the West Indies. All of a sudden, this guy has got a suspect action. I am not happy, I would like to strongly say that,” said Lloyd. “. . .You can’t just ban him from bowling just before an important tour like this and with the World Cup coming up. It destroys the individual’s ability as such and I think you may end up destroying someone’s career.” (EZS/CMC)