Image courtesy of: Zimbio
West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell has admitted that it was “terrible” not to be able to play any competitive cricket for a year.
Russell found himself in this predicament after he was handed a one-year ban after missing three drug tests on January 1, July 1 and July 25 in 2015. He also failed to file his whereabouts on each occasion despite being reminded several times.
Under the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) rules and regulations, skipping three tests is the equivalent as a failed drug test.
“It was very hard to watch the matches, not injured, fully fit but unable to play… it was terrible,” Russell, whose ban expired on January 30 this year, told Geo as quoted by The Cricketer. “But at the end of the day, when I did the crime you have to do the time. It was a good experience for me as well and I’m happy to be back.”
While he was banned, Russell revealed that his friends helped him stay in shape and maintain his touch with the bat.
“I have a net at home, with a bowling machine, so I have guys who feed the ball to me and make sure I’m in good shape,” he said. “Also, being out of the game taught me a lot.
“I’ve been watching a lot of cricket since, I’ve learned a lot, I got to understand the game even more.”
Russell will now represent Islamabad United in the Pakistan Super League (PSL), where he aims to produce a string of strong performances ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL), in which he will represent the Kolkata Knight Riders.
The Knight Riders retained Russell for INR 7 crores prior to the IPL auction last month.
“I always look to get wickets, make a lot of runs. If I take a brilliant catch in the field or make a runout, that’s a bonus,” he said.