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Unscrupulous individuals are using the Sunil Narine issue to publicly attack the T&T Cricket Board (T&TCB) and denigrate its members, according to a release from the T&TCB which was issued yesterday.
Narine has received support from the National League Representatives (NLR), following the circulating of an email which mocked his bowling action and which emanated from the an email address bearing the name Azim Bassarath. However, Bassarath, president of the T&TCB, has denied knowledge of the email.
On Tuesday, the NLR met and called for a meeting with the T&TCB to resolve the situation. Yesterday, the T&TCB said it was unfortunate that in spite of all that it had done and continues to do for Narine, unscrupulous individuals were using the issue to attack the Board.
Pledging its support for Narine, the Board identified a number of instances in which it assisted Narine and insisted that action speaks louder than words.
Narine was censored by the ICC in November while playing for the West Indies against Sri Lanka. The Board noted that its CEO Suruj Ragoonath wrote to Narine to commiserate with him and requested a meeting to discuss the matter. It said Narine never responded.
The release noted that since his return from Sri Lanka, Narine has been working with the Board’s bowling coach Kelvin Williams. “In 2011 when Sunil and Kevon Cooper went to Australia to undertake corrective work, Williams accompanied them at TTCB’s expense. Since that time he (Sunil) has been working with Williams.”
According to the release, after a discussion with Narine in December, it was agreed that he would be included in the squad for the Nagico Super 50 tournament but the WICB subsequently enforced the ICC’s ban and he was withdrawn.
It added that when Queen’s Park brought in Carl Crowe, the specialist spin bowling coach from England, to assist Narine in his remediation, the TTCB contributed financially.
It pointed to a January meeting at the Oval with Jeffrey Guillen and David Furlonge (manager and coach of QP), Phillip Simmons (WICB Head Coach) and a TTCB’s delegation headed by it president Azim Bassarath and including General Secretary Arjoon Ramlal, Patrick Rampersad (Vice President and chairman of the National League) and Manohar Ramsaran (executive member).
“The discussion revolved around Sunil’s participation in the National League to assess him in a match environment where he will be playing under pressure as against assessing him in a training session where there is no real pressure. Based on his progress he would then go to the ICC for testing with the hope of clearing his action and enable him to return to the WI team for the T20 World Cup.
“Sunil was subsequently allowed by the TTCB to participate in the NL with Queen’s Park. This was done even as questions were being asked by clubs as to why should we allow a player who is banned internationally and regionally to play domestically. Sunil was allowed to play as the TTCB was looking at the bigger picture, that is his personal future and his return to international cricket.”
The Board said that throughout Narine’s career, it has strongly supported him. “The TTCB has always reached out to its players to provide support and Sunil has been offered assistance all along. He has not always tapped into these offers which dates back to even before he was initially called for throwing in 2011.”
Narine has since withdrawn from the T20 World Cup which starts next week and is yet to get ICC clearance to play.
In the mean-time, he continues to play for Queen’s Park in the National league.