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Narine, Russell choose CLT20 over Tests

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Sunil Narine
St. John’s (Antigua) : Mystery off-spinner Sunil Narine has once again chosen the Twenty20 format over Test cricket after opting out of the two-Test series against Bangladesh at home.

Narine was a notable omission from the 13-man squad announced by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Friday for the first Test at the Arnos Vale Ground in Kingstown, St. Vincent which starts Sep 5, reports CMC.

The 26-year-old is probably focusing on representing Indian Premier League (IPL) champions Kolkata Knight Riders in the Champions League T20 which runs from Sep 13 to Oct 14 in India.

He will be joined by Jamaica all-rounder Andre Russell, who also opted out of the series to represent the Knight Riders.

Without identifying Narine or Russell, the WICB said that two players had chosen to play the CLT20 instead of being considered for selection. However, the board pointed out that the players’ decision would have no adverse effect on their future selection.

“Two players who were considered for selection to the Test squad have opted to play in the Champions League which has an ICC approved window on the international schedule. The players’ decisions will not have any deleterious effect on consideration for future West Indies selection,” a WICB statement said.

Narine played in last week’s three-match One-Day International (ODI) series against Bangladesh, taking four wickets.

Last June, Narine was overlooked for the three-Test series against New Zealand after opting to remain in India with the Knight Riders for the IPL final instead of returning for a preparation camp in Barbados.

He had been mandated to join the camp by June 1, ahead of the first Test in Jamaica which began June 8.

At the time, the WICB Director of Cricket Richard Pybus said that the Windies First Policy required all players to make themselves available for team preparation.

Narine, who made his Test debut two years ago in England, has played just six Tests and taken 21 wickets at an average of 40.

The squad for the first Test will be led by wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin and includes batsman Jermaine Blackwood and fast bowler Jason Holder, both of whom have played one Test after being handed debuts against New Zealand.

Blackwood hit a half-century in the second Test at Queen’s Park Oval before being dropped for the final game of the series where Holder also struck a fifty on debut before his home crowd at Kensington Oval.

Thee squad: Denesh Ramdin (captain), Sulieman Benn, Jermaine Blackwood, Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Kirk Edwards, Shannon Gabriel, Christopher Gayle, Jason Holder, Kemar Roach, Shane Shillingford, Jerome Taylor.

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