IPL 2012 April 3, 2012

Sunil Narine to play entire IPL - Kolkata official

Sunil Narine, the West Indies spinner who was bought by Kolkata Knight Riders for $700,000 in the January player auction, will be available for the entire duration of the 2012 IPL, a franchise official has said. The IPL overlaps with West Indies' home Tests against Australia, and while Narine does not have a WICB contract and hasn't played a Test yet, his excellent form in the limited-overs series against Australia could have resulted in a call-up.

Venky Mysore, the Knight Riders chief executive, told ESPNcricinfo that Narine will be landing in Kolkata today and is free to play in the tournament. Narine and the WICB had been in discussions behind the scenes but the West Indies coach, Otis Gibson, had admitted it would be difficult to stop Narine playing in the IPL if that was his preference. Narine, 23, has taken 34 first-class wickets at an average of 11.88.

Narine first attracted international attention during the 2011 Champions League T20. Opposing batsmen found his assortment of offbreaks and 'knuckle balls' difficult to pick and the most runs he conceded in any game was 26 against New South Wales. In the next match against the Super Kings, he took 3 for 8, accounting for Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni and M Vijay.

Tariq Engineer is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo