CIT president clarifies that “West Indian cricket is not at war with Andre Russell”
Cricket West Indies president Ricky Skerritt has assured West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell that the board is “not at war” with him and that the regional selectors will not be “vindictive” after the all-rounder opted for not participating in the recent T20I series in New Zealand.
Russell recently drew attention by running to represent the Colombo Kings in the current Lanka Premier League, having initially declined to play the T20I for the West Indies in New Zealand. Even Phil Simmons, the West Indies head coach, expressed surprise by stating that it was “news” to him that Russell was playing for Sri Lanka.
In a chat with Jamaica-based SportsMax TV this week, Russell cleared the air about why he decided to decline the offer to play in New Zealand when head coach Roger Harper called him in October, while the player represented the Kolkata Knight. Runners in the IPL. Russell revealed that he had explained to both Harper and West Indies white ball captain Kieron Pollard that his “headspace” was “messed up” as he moved between biosecure bubbles, an environment he described as close to being. ” in prison. “
Russell emphasized that playing for the West Indies “comes first” for him and had even approached Harper during the IPL to reverse his decision to travel to New Zealand. The head coach said he was “sorry” because the team was already chosen.
Skerritt has now said the selectors will not “punish” Russell. “I have clearly said that West Indian cricket is not at war with Andre Russell. Skerritt said i955fm, a Trinidad-based radio station last weekend. “Andre Russell has a family to feed. He has his own needs and I don’t question what his needs are.”
It is not the first time that Russell has appeared in a T20 franchise tournament while the West Indies played a bilateral series. In August 2019, Russell withdrew from the T20I against India and instead participated in the Global T20 Canada tournament. However, CWI CEO Johnny Grave had told ESPNcricinfo at the time that playing at Global T20 Canada was part of Russell’s rehabilitation after the SUV was kicked out of the 2019 World Cup due to a knee injury.
Russell last played for the West Indies in the T20I series against Sri Lanka in March. “I must, however, be aware of the fact that Mr. Russell spent two years out of cricket and I am sure that at his age he has every right to seek whatever financial reward he can as a brand and as a extremely outstanding athlete, “said Skerrit. “Now, will Mr. Russell meet all the selection criteria in the future? Only the selectors can decide [that]but they won’t punish you for not choosing it.
“If they are not choosing him it is because they have decided that he is not the right person for the team on that particular occasion. It is because he rejected the opportunity. [to play in New Zealand T20Is] This time, it doesn’t mean that he won’t be available or won’t be able to play for us again in the future, at least while I’m president. I would fight that battle very, very vigorously. “
Russell is one of several Caribbean players who have turned down a core contract and instead has predominantly participated in the T20 franchise circuit. However, he has yet to lose the desire to play for the West Indies, and Skerritt said the selectors would pick him on merit.
“The selection policy is documented. It is very clear what the selectors have as a criterion for selecting players to represent the West Indies. But one of the things that is also very clear as a policy is that we do not use route selection to punish the players. players or being vindictive against any player like in the past, which was scary to say the least. “
Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor of ESPNcricinfo