There is ongoing speculation about which team Narine will end up representing
The Trinidad & Tobago sports minister has revealed that West Indian all-rounders Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo, along with spin maestro Sunil Narine, will represent Trinidad and Tobago during the Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20) instead of their respective Indian Premier League (IPL) teams.
Pollard was part of the Mumbai Indians squad that won the Champions League Twenty20 last year, while Bravo played for the Chennai Super Kings.
Narine played for Trinidad and Tobago last year, but was bought by the Kolkata Knight Riders for this year’s IPL season, in which he was named the Man of the Tournament.
According to the Trinidad Express, Anil Roberts, the minister of sport, has confirmed that the three West Indian players will play for Trinidad and Tobago and not for their IPL teams.
The Champions League Twenty20 rules allow a player to choose whichever team they want to represent, and in the past players have almost always opted to play for their IPL franchise instead of the team they play for in domestic competitions at home.
However, contrary to Roberts announcement, Kolkata Knight Riders team director, Joy Bhattacharjya, via Twitter stated that the franchise’s chief executive, Venky Mysore, had received word that Narine would be playing for the Knight Riders during the tournament.
But Roberts noted that the three players were close to signing a Memorandum of Understanding and details of individual contracts would be worked out later.
“All three players have said they want to play for Trinidad & Tobago. The government of Trinidad & Tobago have said they will match their fees, so that they will not lose anything. We want the best team. Some of the Indian teams, the owners are obviously a bit upset because they would love to have Sunil Narine, Pollard and Bravo but I told them quite upfront that we are being professional, that we are not holding anything in secret. We are not going to wait until the last minute and then steal the players from under them,” Roberts said.
Roberts also claims that he has spoken to the IPL franchises over the government’s position.
“I also explained to them, because some of them are quite upset … I said, ‘please for a moment, just picture Mahendra Singh Dhoni or Sachin Tendulkar or [Suresh] Raina deciding or contemplating to play for a club ahead of India. I don’t think that would even be a choice. I don’t think they would even be able to set foot in their land of their birth if ever they even consider disappointing their countrymen and their country by playing for club for money’. So while they may be upset, I tell them I am very sorry they are upset, but the [T&T] population wants our best players, the government wants our best players. The players want to play for Trinidad & Tobago and they will play for Trinidad & Tobago,” Roberts added.