Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
West Indies chief selector Clive Lloyd has announced that he is fuming and can’t help but question the timing of the Champions League Twenty20’s (CLT20) decision to ban spinner Sunil Narine from bowling.
Narine’s action was reported twice during the recently concluded tournament and he was subsequently forced to miss the final.
To add insult to injury, Narine has been withdrawn from the West Indies’ upcoming tour of India and has returned home to get his action assessed.
“He has been bowling over the years with the same sort of action. Now all of a sudden it has changed. What has changed, I don’t know,” Lloyd said. “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. ”
Narine also played an instrumental role in helping the Kolkata Knight Riders win two Indian Premier League (IPL) seasons out of the last three.
“This guy has been doing well playing for KKR for the last three years,” Lloyd said. “If you look at his action, he has been doing pretty much the same and I want to know what is it that has been found that they ban him and not say something like, ‘Listen, you have a bit of a problem and you have to rectify it.'”
Lloyd compared the loss of Narine to Pakistan not having spinner Saeed Ajmal for their ongoing series against Australia. However, the only difference is that Ajmal was banned from bowling by the International Cricket Council (ICC) after he was found to be flexing his elbow almost three times over the 15-degree limit.
“All of a sudden, this guy [Narine] who is supposed to be one of the best bowlers around – like Ajmal for that matter, how many Test wickets does Ajmal have? – and all of a sudden his bowling action is suspect,” Lloyd said. “My point is something should be done before all this comes to this point.
“It can destroy a team. You want to know if this is being orchestrated because if you lose your main bowler then it puts some pressure on the selectors and the team and so on.”
Lloyd was also seething about the fact that the CLT20 never told the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) that Narine’s action had been reported.
“Nobody has told us anything. Nobody has written a letter. That is the thing about it,” he said. “Something should be said to us. We are left high and dry. All of a sudden, the guy is not playing in a tournament he has played for the last three years. What are you then saying about the tournament then? Are you saying that the tournament has probably previously allowed people who have got bad actions to play?”
Interestingly enough, Lloyd also revealed that a source who he could not identify told him that Narine’s action would be closely scrutinised during the upcoming series against India.
“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,” he 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.”
When asked if the ICC should do something about Narine’s suspension, Lloyd said: “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.”