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Sunil Narine

'I've missed international cricket' – Sunil Narine rues injury setback

West Indies news

Sunil Narine hasn't represented West Indies since late 2017, but his international ambitions got a boost when Cricket West Indies confirmed he had been in contention for their 15-member squad for the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019.

Under a new selection panel led by interim chairman of selectors Robert Haynes, players "that have not regularly appeared in the side over the last two years" were also considered before West Indies named their preliminary squad for the World Cup, which starts on 30 May in England and Wales. A finger injury for Narine, however, had ruled him out, Haynes said making the announcement on Wednesday, 24 April.

Narine, who is playing the Indian Premier League for Kolkata Knight Riders, was delighted at the "faith" shown in him by the selectors, and was determined to make it back to the West Indies squad in the future. For now, though, he accepted that his injury meant he was simply not ready.

"I'm really happy that the selectors considered me," Narine told ESPNcricinfo. "It shows they have faith in me. I haven't played international cricket in so long and this shows how much they want me to come back. It was good to have some conversations with them and I feel we're all on the same page going forward."

Narine suffered a torn ligament in his right middle finger a few months ago; while he is bowling now, it could require surgery. 

"I would have loved to play in the World Cup," he said. "I have missed international cricket and I've missed representing West Indies. It's where my heart lies.

Once I'm able to give the team my all, I'd like to be back there helping West Indies win games.

Sunil Narine

"But I don't feel my finger is quite ready for ODI cricket. I can get through a T20 where I bowl just four overs. But even that isn't easy and I need help from the physio. It's holding me back from playing international cricket. I wouldn't be able to do myself or the team justice."

Narine, who has 92 wickets from 65 ODIs, is determined to gradually increase the number of overs he is able to send down. "International cricket is where I want to be," he said. "Once I'm able to give the team my all, I'd like to be back there helping West Indies win games."

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