BANGALORE, India, CMC – Indian batting star Gautam Gambhir has backed Sunil Narine’s decision to remain with Kolkata Knight Riders for the Indian Premier League final, instead of returning to the Caribbean for the ongoing West Indies training camp.
Off-spinner Narine was required to return by yesterday the same day of the IPL final – and his failure to do so meant he was ruled eligible for selection for the three-Test series against New Zealand which bowls off next Sunday in Jamaica.
“It is unfair for the player. His team has reached the final and he is being forced to miss the final,” said Gambhir, Narine’s KKR captain.
“Somewhere down the line, you as a cricketer don’t want to do that where you have taken the team to the final and you just walk away. It is just one game which is left and you have to leave that game. He has taken the right decision [to play the final].”
Narine is the leader of the KKR attack and his 21 wickets and remarkable economy rate of six an over, has been at the core of the team’s success this season. He was central to their performance when they were crowned champions two years ago.
The 26-year-old Trinidadian was expected to be a key member of the West Indies attack in the upcoming series but will now be available only for the two Twenty20 Internationals that follow the Tests.
Gambhir, who has been overlooked by India for nearly 18 months, said he would have made the same decision if confronted by the same circumstances.
“He wanted to continue playing for KKR because it is an important game, not a dead rubber,” the 32-year-old said.
“Any player would have taken the (same) decision, so I completely support him. If I were to be in his position, I would have done the same thing.”