West Indies captain Kieron Pollard has admitted that it is “very, very unfortunate” to not have Sunil Narine in the side, and he is a big miss for the defending champions in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021, but insisted that they have a good squad for the tournament.
Narine was in brilliant form in the recently concluded IPL 2021, helping Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) reach the final, where they lost the trophy to Chennai Super Kings (CSK).
Pollard feels Narine would have made a huge difference for the West Indies in the ICC T20 World Cup 2021, given his recent form, but said they still have a great squad with the 15 players and reserves to defend the title in the showpiece event.
The spinner has been out of the West Indies side since August 2019 and failed to make it to the T20 World Cup squad after “failing to meet Cricket West Indies (CWI) minimum fitness criteria”.
Pollard stated: “In terms of Sunil (Narine), obviously he’s a big miss for any team. It’s something that we sort of can’t question in terms of his ability and his talent on what he has achieved, not only in the IPL, what he has done in CPL (Caribbean Premier League), what he has done over the years as a spinner, maybe one of the greatest spinners to play this format of the game. Yes, we accept it’s a big miss for us, and it’s something that as a team we would have liked to have.”
He added, “It’s very, very unfortunate at this point in time, so for me, it’s not a matter of trying to harp on it, but we just have to deal with what’s in front of us of not having him, and trying to just go on and move on from this. For us it’s a big miss, Sunil Narine being one of our West Indian cricketers doing his due all around the world, but we just have to accept the circumstances at this point in time and try to give a good account of ourselves with the 15 guys that we have here, plus the reserves.”
Noteworthy, the West Indies will take on England in their T20 World Cup opener on Saturday, October 23 in Dubai with a hope to repeat the 2016 final show in Kolkata, India.