June 1, 2014

The Narine conundrum

Nineteen years ago Desmond Haynes failed to meet a WICB deadline and never played another Test. Now Narine finds himself in the eye of the storm
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There are striking similarities in the West Indies Cricket Board's suspension of Sunil Narine for the forthcoming home Tests against New Zealand and that of Desmond Haynes 19 years ago, prior to the 1995 series against Australia.

Both involve the players' failure to meet a deadline for returning to the Caribbean, in Narine's case for the squad's preparatory training camp, in Haynes' for all matches in the domestic first-class tournament (then the Red Stripe Cup).

Narine has chosen to remain with the Kolkata Knight Riders for today's final of the Indian Premier League; Haynes, at the time a professional with Western Province in South Africa's Castle Cup, missed only one match, Barbados' first.

Each pleaded his case for dispensation; each was turned down by an inflexible board that pointed out that its relevant regulation was in place for good reason and was known by both.

The WICB's director of cricket, Richard Pybus, asserted on Friday that Narine's ineligibility for the three New Zealand Tests was in keeping with the "West Indies First" policy approved by its directors in March.

"The onus of the WICB is to protect the integrity of international cricket at all times," he said. "International cricket, and specifically Test cricket, is priority and requires dedicated preparation which is integral to team success. The WICB policy requires players to commit to sufficient preparation leading into a series as part of a culture of excellence."

The reasons for Haynes' issue were similar, if a little broader.

The words of Stephen Camacho, the board's CEO at the time, almost exactly echo Pybus'. He pointed out that the regulation that led to Haynes' suspension had been in place since 1983 and was "guided by its commitment to its sponsor and, more particularly, its responsibility for the long-term development of West Indies cricket.

"Now, more than ever, it is essential that the best players participate in our domestic programme where possible so as to enhance and protect the quality of our game," he added.

The Haynes issue immediately set off furious debate. He had, after all, played 116 Tests, more than any other West Indian at the time. He was an outstanding opening batsman, one half of the renowned partnership with Gordon Greenidge in the golden era of West Indies cricket.

The contemporary West Indies captain Richie Richardson asked that "special consideration be given". The Barbados Cricket Association successfully pressed for a review but the original decision was upheld by a committee of three. Radio talk shows and newspaper columns were filled with comment, mostly critical of the board, which held its ground.

Haynes never played another Test. He subsequently took legal action against the board that dragged on for seven years before it was settled out of court; by then, the all-matches requirement had been dropped.

It is unlikely the present situation will end Narine's fledgling career of six Tests; it will, almost certainly, generate reaction comparable to the furore on Haynes.

Narine may not, as yet, measure up to Haynes' formidable statistical record but he is a highly regarded spinner with a mysterious mixture of deliveries that have bamboozled the finest batsmen in the game's shortened versions to the extent that he is ranked by the ICC as the No. 2 bowler in T20 Internationals and No. 3 in one-dayers.

When the West Indies board gave Chris Gayle permission to extend his IPL stay in 2009, he arrived in London two days before the first Test. Such an arrangement brought the WICB heavy criticism; its contrary decision on Narine is also likely to be condemned

His overall record in his six Tests is far less impressive (21 wickets at 40.52) but, in his only three Tests against the same New Zealanders who he would otherwise have engaged with in the series that starts in Kingston next Sunday, he has taken 18 wickets at 24.33.

Like Haynes, who was active with Western Province prior to his belated return, it is not that Narine has been twiddling his thumbs in the past six weeks. What he has been twiddling are his fingers that impart the confusing each-way turn that have made him one of the leading wicket-takers and the most economical bowler in the IPL (of those who have played at least five matches) and helped propel Knight Riders to the final.

As for his fitness, T20 is a very distant relation to Test cricket but the IPL provides intense competition and franchises look after their players with top international coaches, trainers and physiotherapists.

So why would the WICB stick so inflexibly to its position?

This is the first Test of the "West Indies First" policy and it is obviously not inclined to give in on it at first time of asking. Other considerations would have influenced its intransigence. When it gave Chris Gayle, captain at the time, permission to extend his stay for one more IPL match in 2009, he arrived in London two days before the first Test at Lord's. Such an arrangement brought the WICB heavy criticism; its contrary decision on Narine is also likely to be condemned, a case of damned if it does and damned if it doesn't.

Another underlying factor was likely to have featured.

It was the recent assertion by Ernest Hilaire, who resigned as the WICB's chief executive two years ago, that "the bold initiatives required to fix regional cricket were often thwarted by pressure from territorial boards" during his term.

He charged that "insularity and narrow nationalism" continued to permeate West Indies cricket.

"There comes a time when some people believe the consequences of re-organising and restructuring is too much for them and therefore they want to go back to the old order and that's what we keep doing in West Indies cricket," he had said in a television interview.

Such attitudes led to the rejection of the main points in the 2007 report on restructuring of the WICB by a committee headed by the former Jamaica prime minister PJ Patterson. Another more recent paper, commissioned by then president Sir Julian Hunte and prepared by Queen's Counsel, Charles Wilkin, got the same treatment.

It is certainly not out of the question that Narine's home administration, the Trinidad & Tobago Cricket Board, would want to hear more about the reasons behind the WICB's decision. It might even ask for it to be reviewed, as the Barbados Cricket Association did in Haynes' case.

A new dispensation under president Dave Cameron has been in office for just over a year. As vice-president for six years, Cameron would have experienced the frustrations mentioned by Hilaire.

It will be instructive whether he now finds, as Hilaire did, that "the bold initiatives required to fix regional cricket (are) thwarted by pressure from territorial boards" and that, because of "insularity and narrow nationalism", Pybus' "West Indies First" initiative goes the way of others from Patterson and Wilkin.

Tony Cozier has written about and commentated on cricket in the Caribbean for 50 years

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • smollineau on June 5, 2014, 19:43 GMT

    WI Board has to eat some of the responsibility for Narine not being back on time, there was a set return date and the WI board extended it for the players, you set the date and then extend it now you want to make example of players. However Narine had a decision to make and I am sure he knew the consequences, but when you get an offer of double WI salary to stay what will you do. People who keep claiming Country first ask all those some retired broke Cricketers who still have to pay bills how does it feel, Haynes played for Barbados and was treated like crap when he went to the oval, Narine you go boy because when you retire people will move on to support the next superstar and you still have to live. while you are in that zone at this stage make your money not one of those sorry WI Board members will ever take care of your family. I support the Cricketers who is about MONEY because this is the world we live in today.

  • jimmyvida on June 4, 2014, 21:55 GMT

    Were I in Narine's position, I would forget about playing for the West Indies. Concentrate on my own life and finances. Let us suppose for one moment that Narine had left the final game and returned to the West Indies, what are his chances of making the test team. Zilcho. A GENUINE RIGHT ARM SPINNER AND A LEFT ARMER. The board is actually happy he did not return. Narine would not make a test team in the WI unless injury strikes. To see this in any other way is stupidity. Any fool in the WI knows this.

  • on June 3, 2014, 18:32 GMT

    The 1st Test Match starts a week after the IPL final. Presumably the dates for this series were agreed between the respective boards so as not to clash with the IPL. So why set a deadline to be in camp a day before the final, why not two days after it ! What would have happened if Gayle and Dwayne Bravo had been in the final ? West Indies would have been back to square one, in the same predicament as before with feuding between the senior players and the board and the best team not on the park. Narine would have been in camp albeit late so the sanction is too severe.A fine or missing the 1st test would have been enough. He shouldn't have been put in that position in the 1st place. Let's hope the board don't make the same mistake again. Don't hold your breath ! On a cricketing note it's solves the conundrum of whether to play him and Shillingford and he has not yet proved to be a dominant force in tests...yet ! It's up Benn to take his chance. What will they do if he has a bad game !

  • regofpicton on June 3, 2014, 17:37 GMT

    I've already stated, more than once, that i understand and have no problem with Narine's choice. And I've already stated, more than once that i am not a huge fan of T20. But the standard of cricket - lovely lovely cricket - in the last few games of the most recent IPL was extraordinary. VivGilchrist: mate, you've missed a treat!

  • TAJY on June 3, 2014, 1:24 GMT

    Playing for your nation should be first priority. But guess what, these West Indian players are getting paid LOADS off of league cricket. Of course they would rather play the IPL, there's MONEY in it. WI dont pay well, from what I hear, so what are these players (many who grew up poor) to do? They'll cash in on their T20 riches. Bang a ball for six, win thousands of dollars. If I had a choice, I would choose the money. A WI player is not in the same position, money-wise, as an England or Aussie player. Back in the old days, WI players got paid CRAP, but they played their hearts out and won for Caribbean pride. Very commendable. However, The modern players are not gonna sit there and stay poor while in their primes. They'll chase the money and become rich like Gayle, Pollard and Bravo

  • VivGilchrist on June 2, 2014, 21:53 GMT

    I'm from Australia, love cricket, and I would have to say no one here follows IPL. It's not on TVas it doesn't rate. It's a glorified domestic league full of mercenaries that is compromising International cricket because of the lure of $$$$$.

  • on June 2, 2014, 19:12 GMT

    Prybus in Narine out No Narine no Cricket . Come on Trinis lets send WICB a message of what we can do

  • on June 2, 2014, 18:45 GMT

    Rally_windies..."Narine owes KKR and T&T everything ..... those are the people that developed him and showed faith in him !"

    This is very true..Narine represented T&T at the Champions Leaque in India where KKr saw him..he had not played for any West Indian team at that time..

  • nk94555 on June 2, 2014, 6:36 GMT

    Over 100 years cricket is being played in a certain format between two countries, there was no way to incorporate a professional league like IPL or BBL. That landscape is changing and cricket can now have professional leagues like Soccer, MLB, NFL, NBA, etc. This scene is changing in front of our eyes and it is changing very fast, whether people like it or not. Within next 10 years both IPL and BBL will expand like other major leagues to be played over six months period. On Narine case, any professional competitive sports person would love to perform in front of 50K packed house and millions watching on TV as compared to 500 people in stands for a test and in free world has right to choose. Except Aus-Eng test series there are hardly any people in stadium watching test match, while every game of IPL (even in UAE) was sold out. Test cricket is surviving on the money generated by IPL and it will not be the case in 10 years. Test cricket has to generate its own money to stage matches.

  • LillianThomson on June 2, 2014, 2:48 GMT

    b4u8me2 The West Indies series with New Zealand is not a friendly, it is part of the World Test Championship ladder. For New Zealand it is a chance to try to move up from their number 6 ranking towards the number 5 ranked country, which is India.

    In football FIFA is absolutely firm and inflexible in ensuring release of players by clubs. The national team coach announces his roster, and FIFA requires that the club free the players 21 days prior to the start of a World Cup or continental championship.

    There is a reason why the Spanish league finished on 17 May: this was 26 days prior to the World Cup, and one further week would have resulted in the clubs fielding teams decimated by national call-ups.

    By the way, I believe it actually is the real Shane Bond. It's linked to his Facebook page and he has been contributing nicely in recent months.

  • smollineau on June 5, 2014, 19:43 GMT

    WI Board has to eat some of the responsibility for Narine not being back on time, there was a set return date and the WI board extended it for the players, you set the date and then extend it now you want to make example of players. However Narine had a decision to make and I am sure he knew the consequences, but when you get an offer of double WI salary to stay what will you do. People who keep claiming Country first ask all those some retired broke Cricketers who still have to pay bills how does it feel, Haynes played for Barbados and was treated like crap when he went to the oval, Narine you go boy because when you retire people will move on to support the next superstar and you still have to live. while you are in that zone at this stage make your money not one of those sorry WI Board members will ever take care of your family. I support the Cricketers who is about MONEY because this is the world we live in today.

  • jimmyvida on June 4, 2014, 21:55 GMT

    Were I in Narine's position, I would forget about playing for the West Indies. Concentrate on my own life and finances. Let us suppose for one moment that Narine had left the final game and returned to the West Indies, what are his chances of making the test team. Zilcho. A GENUINE RIGHT ARM SPINNER AND A LEFT ARMER. The board is actually happy he did not return. Narine would not make a test team in the WI unless injury strikes. To see this in any other way is stupidity. Any fool in the WI knows this.

  • on June 3, 2014, 18:32 GMT

    The 1st Test Match starts a week after the IPL final. Presumably the dates for this series were agreed between the respective boards so as not to clash with the IPL. So why set a deadline to be in camp a day before the final, why not two days after it ! What would have happened if Gayle and Dwayne Bravo had been in the final ? West Indies would have been back to square one, in the same predicament as before with feuding between the senior players and the board and the best team not on the park. Narine would have been in camp albeit late so the sanction is too severe.A fine or missing the 1st test would have been enough. He shouldn't have been put in that position in the 1st place. Let's hope the board don't make the same mistake again. Don't hold your breath ! On a cricketing note it's solves the conundrum of whether to play him and Shillingford and he has not yet proved to be a dominant force in tests...yet ! It's up Benn to take his chance. What will they do if he has a bad game !

  • regofpicton on June 3, 2014, 17:37 GMT

    I've already stated, more than once, that i understand and have no problem with Narine's choice. And I've already stated, more than once that i am not a huge fan of T20. But the standard of cricket - lovely lovely cricket - in the last few games of the most recent IPL was extraordinary. VivGilchrist: mate, you've missed a treat!

  • TAJY on June 3, 2014, 1:24 GMT

    Playing for your nation should be first priority. But guess what, these West Indian players are getting paid LOADS off of league cricket. Of course they would rather play the IPL, there's MONEY in it. WI dont pay well, from what I hear, so what are these players (many who grew up poor) to do? They'll cash in on their T20 riches. Bang a ball for six, win thousands of dollars. If I had a choice, I would choose the money. A WI player is not in the same position, money-wise, as an England or Aussie player. Back in the old days, WI players got paid CRAP, but they played their hearts out and won for Caribbean pride. Very commendable. However, The modern players are not gonna sit there and stay poor while in their primes. They'll chase the money and become rich like Gayle, Pollard and Bravo

  • VivGilchrist on June 2, 2014, 21:53 GMT

    I'm from Australia, love cricket, and I would have to say no one here follows IPL. It's not on TVas it doesn't rate. It's a glorified domestic league full of mercenaries that is compromising International cricket because of the lure of $$$$$.

  • on June 2, 2014, 19:12 GMT

    Prybus in Narine out No Narine no Cricket . Come on Trinis lets send WICB a message of what we can do

  • on June 2, 2014, 18:45 GMT

    Rally_windies..."Narine owes KKR and T&T everything ..... those are the people that developed him and showed faith in him !"

    This is very true..Narine represented T&T at the Champions Leaque in India where KKr saw him..he had not played for any West Indian team at that time..

  • nk94555 on June 2, 2014, 6:36 GMT

    Over 100 years cricket is being played in a certain format between two countries, there was no way to incorporate a professional league like IPL or BBL. That landscape is changing and cricket can now have professional leagues like Soccer, MLB, NFL, NBA, etc. This scene is changing in front of our eyes and it is changing very fast, whether people like it or not. Within next 10 years both IPL and BBL will expand like other major leagues to be played over six months period. On Narine case, any professional competitive sports person would love to perform in front of 50K packed house and millions watching on TV as compared to 500 people in stands for a test and in free world has right to choose. Except Aus-Eng test series there are hardly any people in stadium watching test match, while every game of IPL (even in UAE) was sold out. Test cricket is surviving on the money generated by IPL and it will not be the case in 10 years. Test cricket has to generate its own money to stage matches.

  • LillianThomson on June 2, 2014, 2:48 GMT

    b4u8me2 The West Indies series with New Zealand is not a friendly, it is part of the World Test Championship ladder. For New Zealand it is a chance to try to move up from their number 6 ranking towards the number 5 ranked country, which is India.

    In football FIFA is absolutely firm and inflexible in ensuring release of players by clubs. The national team coach announces his roster, and FIFA requires that the club free the players 21 days prior to the start of a World Cup or continental championship.

    There is a reason why the Spanish league finished on 17 May: this was 26 days prior to the World Cup, and one further week would have resulted in the clubs fielding teams decimated by national call-ups.

    By the way, I believe it actually is the real Shane Bond. It's linked to his Facebook page and he has been contributing nicely in recent months.

  • Baddabing on June 2, 2014, 2:38 GMT

    Strange preparation for a Test match? He has bowled only 40 overs in t20 matches in the past month. A spin bowler has to be ablre to bowl that many overs in one day to be competive in Tests.

  • Greatest_Game on June 2, 2014, 2:01 GMT

    I thought Richard Pybus was hired to help WI cricket? Right now one cannot dispute that the general consensus amongst cricket fans is that his actions in this case are a disservice to WI cricket.

    It is interesting to note that Pybus stated "International cricket, and specifically Test cricket, is priority …" and yet has made board policy the priority in this matter. Essentially, what he has done is deprive the WI cricket team of one of it's great talents, simply because of a new policy.

    A policy is a set of principles and protocols - essentially a set of guidelines - meant to be used as a tool to achieve the best results. Clearly, this has not happened in this case. A policy can be here today, gone tomorrow. A policy is not inviolate, holy, or sacrosanct, it is not a law or a rule, it carries no weight of sanction, and it is not meant to be used to beat people into submission.

    When policy trumps common sense, it is clear warning sign - the consequences will ALWAYS be bad, for all.

  • Greatest_Game on June 2, 2014, 1:24 GMT

    @ LillianThomson claims that "None of us outside Asia have the faintest idea who is in the IPL Final, but we will take note of the WI v NZ Tests."

    I am South African, & live in the USA. That puts me firmly "outside Asia" on two counts. I know which teams, & players, are in the IPL final. I follow the IPL just as I follow international cricket, particularly test cricket.

    @ LillianThomson - I'm not sure why you think that all people outside Asia would share your likes, dislikes & opinions, but I think there is a strong likelihood that amongst cricket fans outside Asia, few share your opinions. There is no single minded collective that is "all of us outside Asia." Similarly, all persons "inside Asia" are not a single minded collective. There is no "us and them." There is simply a world of diverse cricket fans who share a single commonality - we love the sport!

    Finally, I may be "outside Asia," but you definitely do NOT speak for me. Please do not claim that you do. Ever!

  • on June 2, 2014, 0:33 GMT

    It's all about power, and the west indies cricket board has got it wrong again. The people who is running cricket now in the west indies has the same mentality as the the people who ran it before so nothing has changed. In any organization flexibility and common sense must prevail to be successful and west indies refuse to go in that direction. I must say this though that the people of the west indies has the power and they has been let down again by a bunch of guys they entrusted to run cricket in the west indies. How about defusing the west indies cricket board and let the cricket run will freedom and west indies could start winning again. The people who is running west indies cricket presently is an obstacle to west indies cricket; People get them out if you all want to be a force in the cricket world again

  • 4goodcric8 on June 1, 2014, 22:35 GMT

    @LillianThomson: I understand your disappointment - but to make a statement like "None of us outside Asia have the faintest idea who is in the IPL final, but we will take note of the WI v NZ Tests" is sadly parochial. If human beings are equally valued no matter what part of the world they live in (even Asia, heaven forbid), consider that this tournament final had a potential viewership of a billion and a half people in Asia alone. Translate that into economics - it means the only choice is how gracefully - or not - you accept that this is the Asian century that's begun in cricket (and in world affairs for that matter).

    Yes, the BCCI is heavy-handed in how it's handling its new-found power (not that the MCC was much different in its heyday), but it can hardly be blamed for this particular snafu when the date of the IPL final was well known.

  • on June 1, 2014, 22:16 GMT

    It's interesting that it's the full series not just the First Test. Surely he has enough time to prepare to be considered for the 2nd ?

  • on June 1, 2014, 18:09 GMT

    Since the Desmond Haynes omission WI never recovered from Cricket. The Greatest opening partnership was broken and never reclaimed again by WI

  • Rally_Windies on June 1, 2014, 17:36 GMT

    Narine owes the WICB nothing ... they have done nothing for him...

    Narine owes KKR and T&T everything ..... those are the people that developed him and showed faith in him !

    The WICB don't want Narine in the team anyway ! They only picked him because he shamed them into doing so by his performances in India !

    If there was no IPL, Narine would just add to the long list of excellent 1st class spinners in the WI (who maybe get 1 or 2 Tests in their careers)

  • on June 1, 2014, 17:34 GMT

    The banality of WICB continues. With so many WI players in the Iplt20 any one of whom could be in the Final on June 1st, why would the Boatd fix a reporting deadline for a camp, and force Narine or Bravo or any star player to choose between a world class Final with millions of worldwide viewers and reporting for a pre-test camp? What would Narine be doing or thinking while sitting in Barbados watching the Iplt20 final? This artificial clash is a result of unthinking managers. I am so sorry for the Board members. They keep highlighting their backwardness.

  • WIFL on June 1, 2014, 15:42 GMT

    I do not understand if the arrival date for players in the IPL was moved from the 22nd May to the 1st June. Why the 1st June when they knew the final was set for the 1st June, and it's possible that anyone of the West Indies players teams can reach the final. If Bravo did not get injured, and his team did not lose the semi-final it could of been both of he and Narine missing the first test, come on officials you have moved the deadline date by 10 days what difference will it make to include one or 2 more days. WICB have to give the players the confidence that their interest and well being are being served.

  • on June 1, 2014, 15:27 GMT

    only Windies cricket will suffer in the end. Whats the point of having that stupid West Indies First policy... Inwhich only looser in the end is West Indies cricket.... very pathetic

  • b4u8me2 on June 1, 2014, 15:18 GMT

    People keep comparing cricket with football. Do you all think Argentina would force Messi to miss a premier league final for Barcelona just so that he can be in Argentina a week before a friendly match with Brazil? The WICB is inflexible. They still do not know how to manage players. They are all about showing who is boss instead of making the players feel wanted and like they belong. Narine was still fully available for the first test. It is not as if the first test is going on now while the final of the IPL is being played. I think Narine did WI fans a favor as well. I do not see how mentally he could perform if he felt forced to return. As a human being I cannot see how is mind could not be on feeling undone the WICB. This is like your employer denying u leave to do a final exam that u have spent time preparing for even though you will not cost the company to lose any business and u sitting the exam will be a plus for them in terms of your qualifications.

  • on June 1, 2014, 14:48 GMT

    @ Werner Blomberg And why exactly should Michael Clarke or Ian Bell's decisions be the moral compass for all cricketers to follow? There is such a thing as commitment and responsibility to a team, even if it be an IPL franchise. There is such a thing as a desire to win, to finish a job once you've started it well. So, assuming his decision is just about money could be a gross misjudgment of the man. I hope Narine gets the clemency from the WICB that he fully deserves for his professional decision.

  • on June 1, 2014, 14:32 GMT

    @LillianThomson BCCI's IPL hasn't 'failed to grant' Narine loyalty to his nation. It was made clear by his franchise's captain that he was entirely free to make the choice himself. Narine took the decision to fulfill his commitment to his IPL team. You can disapprove of his decision all you like, but for once, the BCCI isn't the bad guy here. Unless you blame it for scheduling it's final a whole week before WI plays NZ...

  • on June 1, 2014, 14:25 GMT

    WICB should give Ramdin all the help they can. They can not afford not to give him the whole deck. He has to have that to win to justify replacing Sammy.

  • tutorial on June 1, 2014, 14:00 GMT

    WI.cricket needs all the help it can get to WIN this upcoming series, WICB. cannot afford to make that type of decision and should reconsider if winning is a priority. WI.cricket is at the bottom and should find every loophole to play Narine. To make it to the top WICB.have to be more flexible and NOT SHOOT WI.CRICKET IN THE FOOT BEFORE A VERY IMPORTANT SERIES.

  • TeamSelector on June 1, 2014, 13:39 GMT

    @ LillianThomson. I don't think this is the 'real' Shane Bond ...

  • KarmatBaig on June 1, 2014, 12:52 GMT

    International cricket for the country keeps you in demand. Once you are not playing for the country you could be a lost commodity to the whole world in the coming days, you ca see for example Kevin Pieterson, Gilchrist, Mike Hussey etc. Its the performance for the country that brings you into limelight not just first class or T20 stuff.

  • straightbat12 on June 1, 2014, 12:25 GMT

    I dont understand why people are saying country first....its not like narine is choosing to play the ipl final over final decieding match for west indies against any oppostion. Its the first test match and is happening a week later! c'mon guys....who are you kidding....hes the best bowler in your country by a mile. Also sportsmen live for moments like this ...playing a final watched by millions...why the hell would be go back now when he knows he will let his whole team down as he is their go to man. I think he would rather keep his name than play one meaningless test vs newzealand.

  • LillianThomson on June 1, 2014, 12:25 GMT

    There is quite a wicked irony in Shane Bond's comments here.

    He writes that "as an overall test cricket fan, it's not nice to see someone choose a league over a country."

    Now, I have never forgiven NZ Cricket for failing to honour its commitment to him that he could play ICL and represent his country, especially as his ICL contract granted precedence to international duty.

    But we New Zealand fans were deprived of two years of his career when the BCCI pressured New Zealand not to select him, only for the BCCI's IPL now to fail to grant Narine and others the loyalty to their countries that the ICL did permit.

    Ultimately the whole cricket world is the loser. None of us outside Asia have the faintest idea who is in the IPL Final, but we will take note of the WI v NZ Tests.

  • Anubhav-the-Experience on June 1, 2014, 12:10 GMT

    Rules should be strict that you have to come & play national cricket & if you do not you will be banned...How can you insult your nation...if you do not like your nation's rules, leave it & settle somewhere else. WICB are not incorrect...It should have been cleared that you cannot play IPL if others of your national team have assembled at one place & you are busy somewhere else...International cricket is back-bone..IPL is just time-paas.

  • BRUTALANALYST on June 1, 2014, 12:08 GMT

    @Werner Blomberg WHY do you think this is just about money ? Maybe the chance to play in the final of the biggest cricket tournament of all time that he's played such a pivotal part in getting to is a big deal for him ! This will be the most televised game of the year by a country mile even dwarfing the World Cup. The real issue is there was no need for WICB (Pybus ) to make him choose, KKR even offered a privately charted jet to fly him straight to Jamaica the night of the final but WICB declined !

  • on June 1, 2014, 11:56 GMT

    For the longest time now WI selectors have been refusing to play narine for tests and now that he's in de finals all of a sudden dey want him. For those of u who r not West Indian, it is easy for u watch from the outside and judge our players but the truth is, u will never understand what our players and fans hav to tolerate the WICB. To the person who was comparing narine to bell and Clarkie, the major difference is that they r always selected and appreciated. Narine who the best spinner in WI for some time now has not been selected for a test match for a long time. #WICBfailure

  • cricketdebator on June 1, 2014, 11:22 GMT

    In allowing the players to participate in the IPL, the WICB should have anticipate and made allowance for the possibility of one or more of them being involved in the final. Therefore, the deadline should have been set for a date after the final, giving those players involved, reasonable time to return for the camp. I understand and accept the 'WI first" policy, but setting the deadline as it is, could be seen as an error of judgment by the Board, and consequently it would not be unreasonable for one to ask for some reconsideration be given to Narine's case. It is easy for one to sympathize with Narine in this case, since it would be difficult, (and probably too much to ask of him) having played so hard for his team throughout the tournament, only to walk away at the final.

  • on June 1, 2014, 11:19 GMT

    I asked some guys at work yesterday who defended Narine's decision one simple question. "If Michael Clarke or Ian Bell were faced with a similar decision what do you think they would have done"? He didn't answer and i said Case closed? Narine choose one IPL game over three tests and I hope he never plays again. It time this nonsense stops..i don't want to hear about securing "one's future" at all because this isnt 1960 where the players didn't make money. One or two IPL seasons and and most of these big salaried players can sit at home and do nothing for the rest of their lives.

  • BRUTALANALYST on June 1, 2014, 11:13 GMT

    ... Whilst idealistically that is the kind of wishful thinking folks especially older lovers of the game would like to enforce it's just not going to happen in the modern IPL world. Now even given the nice ECB pay packet the English players representatives are fighting hard for the ECB to allow them a window. It's very sad given the fact W.I have just appointed Ramdin as captain with the opportunity of a fresh start to have this same ridiculous dilemma clouding ahead of this series we have seen in the past. I wish it had been avoided because if Test cricket is to survive it needs players like the Narine's and Kp's sadly more than they need Test cricket even if they're only getting 5 days of prep instead of 7.

  • BRUTALANALYST on June 1, 2014, 10:58 GMT

    @kentjones It's not just a West Indies issue though is it, amongst this Narine uproar no one seems to have mentioned or wrote about the fact the Kiwi Captain has also missed the preparation and warm up games in favour of the IPL. I don't know maybe Martin Crow will have something to say as he seems to have come out hard against Narine on his twitter. MccULLUM FLEw back out right after his daughters birth again to rejoin IPL last 2 games before the final, had CSK made it he almost certainly like Narine would have stayed on to play the "3 hour deomestic game" which wll be this years most televised/watched cricket game of the year ! Past Sri Lankan and the much publicised KP ECB beef shows this is not just a W.I issue and all Countries have now made room for the IPL aside from England. It's interesting to note these guidelines for Narine and other West Indians to miss the end of this IPL were also been laid out by an Englishman "Pybus" ... continued

  • Karan_cricketfan on June 1, 2014, 9:16 GMT

    @Ashok, it wouldn't come down to money. It's about not missing the final. He's already been paid at the start so not like he's getting more money or something by pllaying in the final or that his ipl contract would be terminated...

  • kentjones on June 1, 2014, 8:54 GMT

    the stand of the WICB is understandable in this case. One can see its policy here meant to ensure that players are available to represent WI. However with so many WI players involved in the IPL, one wonders if it is the wisest decision. Mnyn players have become millionaires from the IPL: Gayle, Pollard, Narine, Sammy, Smith, Cooper to name a few. I wonder if any of these were involved in the finals whom would they chose to represent. The IPL is here to stay. A constructive strategic method must be found to deal with the issues of conflict between country and IPL. The fire breathing dragon (IPL) is a main source of heat, once its has been slain then the important heat iis lost. Is this the ideal solution? This IPl conflict impacts most on WI, so it is up to WICB to work something out. WICB execs get your heads together and work something out.

  • stormy16 on June 1, 2014, 8:09 GMT

    For me this yet another, administration bungle than a player or Narine issue. The WICB released all their players to the IPL and it was reasonable to assume that some of them would be involved in the final. What was unreasonable was for the WICB knowiing this, set a deadline before the IPL final. What worse, with a bit of flexibility, Narine can the play the first test which is what the players and fans want but in this world where administrators are bigger than the game, we stand around having these meaningless debates. How can a player who played the whole season for a franchise, and a key player, be expected walk away from the final. WICB please wake up - the game and the fans deserve better.

  • on June 1, 2014, 7:49 GMT

    Agree with Brutalanalyst, one has got to see the record Narine had vs NZ. As a New Zealander, I am glad there'll be no Narine to play but as an overall test cricket fan, it's not nice to see someone choose a league over country.

  • crickethung on June 1, 2014, 7:38 GMT

    This has nothing to do with Narine's record in Tests. This is a matter of managing the modern cricketer. We cannot be penny wise and pound foolish. Rules are important but it must never be cast in stone. How in the world can you allow a player to participate in a tournament for nearly two months then ask him to abandon his team in the finals? What kind of team man will he be then? Mr. Pybus though you may have good intentions ...you are wrong. This is the inflexibility of English type archaic management of people. The problem with WI cricket has always been their ability to manage their human resource. The psyche of a WI player is very unique because it is shaped by a different kind of socioeconomic environment. We have to be more imaginative in our style of management. WICB will continue to be a failure if they do not understand the dynamics of managing a WI cricketer in this new era of cricket that is continuously evolving to meet the changing expectations of a new marketplace.

  • ashok16 on June 1, 2014, 7:24 GMT

    I am sure it was an easy decision for Narine. Loyalty to a better paymaster is something we all practice in our professional lives and it is extremely hypocritical of us to wish Narine do otherwise. And it is not like 50,000 people are going to watch West Indies play New Zealand in a test match.

  • DaisonGarvasis on June 1, 2014, 7:02 GMT

    It is a real difficult one. One can understand WICB have rules and regulations. However, the rules were bent to give extension to the players until end of May. So if the teams didnt reach finals the players are clean and can take part in the WICB camp. But if you perform well and your team reach the finals, you fall in the eyes of WICB coz you dont meet the deadline. Thats where one can understand why Naraine chose to play the final. If WICB didnt extend the deadline in the first place, the hard line taken is understandable. But this one looks like they bent the rule to keep certain players in and keep Naraine out.

  • BRUTALANALYST on June 1, 2014, 5:56 GMT

    @xtrafalgarx He's played 6 games far to few to make a comment like that. West Indies man management has been terrible of Narine first of all making his debut in England during a wet early May was hardly the best time to give a guy confidence in this format in conditions where a veteran like Swann was not getting much luck people then writing off Narine saying he will not cut it in Tests is foolish and pathetically short sighted. Another factor West Indies not selecting him even for the squad of India a place he is loved and found much success with the ideal conditions for spin the perfect chance for him to get some real confidence was another shambolic decision by the board and then taking a youth like Cotrell and giving his debut on a flat batting paradise to which he is then discarded and people saying he is not good enough to not giving him 1 game on the seeming conditions of New Zealand where Gabriel /Sammy where causing no problems again shows this same poor management by W.I.

  • xtrafalgarx on June 1, 2014, 4:37 GMT

    At first i was disappointed as a fan of test cricket, that a player has chosen IPL over tests. However, lookng at Narine's test figures, he's a good spinner in any way, shape or form when it comes to test cricket. Not a loss at all.

  • jmcilhinney on June 1, 2014, 4:06 GMT

    This is a tough one. It's quite valid that the WICB have rules in place to try to ensure that players prioritise WI cricket but now WI cricket will be diminished by not having one of its best players playing. The problem is that, if they make an exception in this case, noone will take the rules seriously in future. I can absolutely see why Narine would want to remain for the IPL final but he presumably knew the rules beforehand so, if he wanted to stay, he should have tried to negotiate special dispensation from the WICB beforehand, not after the fact. It's not anyone's fault particularly but the IPL really has proven to be a bane on international cricket.

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  • jmcilhinney on June 1, 2014, 4:06 GMT

    This is a tough one. It's quite valid that the WICB have rules in place to try to ensure that players prioritise WI cricket but now WI cricket will be diminished by not having one of its best players playing. The problem is that, if they make an exception in this case, noone will take the rules seriously in future. I can absolutely see why Narine would want to remain for the IPL final but he presumably knew the rules beforehand so, if he wanted to stay, he should have tried to negotiate special dispensation from the WICB beforehand, not after the fact. It's not anyone's fault particularly but the IPL really has proven to be a bane on international cricket.

  • xtrafalgarx on June 1, 2014, 4:37 GMT

    At first i was disappointed as a fan of test cricket, that a player has chosen IPL over tests. However, lookng at Narine's test figures, he's a good spinner in any way, shape or form when it comes to test cricket. Not a loss at all.

  • BRUTALANALYST on June 1, 2014, 5:56 GMT

    @xtrafalgarx He's played 6 games far to few to make a comment like that. West Indies man management has been terrible of Narine first of all making his debut in England during a wet early May was hardly the best time to give a guy confidence in this format in conditions where a veteran like Swann was not getting much luck people then writing off Narine saying he will not cut it in Tests is foolish and pathetically short sighted. Another factor West Indies not selecting him even for the squad of India a place he is loved and found much success with the ideal conditions for spin the perfect chance for him to get some real confidence was another shambolic decision by the board and then taking a youth like Cotrell and giving his debut on a flat batting paradise to which he is then discarded and people saying he is not good enough to not giving him 1 game on the seeming conditions of New Zealand where Gabriel /Sammy where causing no problems again shows this same poor management by W.I.

  • DaisonGarvasis on June 1, 2014, 7:02 GMT

    It is a real difficult one. One can understand WICB have rules and regulations. However, the rules were bent to give extension to the players until end of May. So if the teams didnt reach finals the players are clean and can take part in the WICB camp. But if you perform well and your team reach the finals, you fall in the eyes of WICB coz you dont meet the deadline. Thats where one can understand why Naraine chose to play the final. If WICB didnt extend the deadline in the first place, the hard line taken is understandable. But this one looks like they bent the rule to keep certain players in and keep Naraine out.

  • ashok16 on June 1, 2014, 7:24 GMT

    I am sure it was an easy decision for Narine. Loyalty to a better paymaster is something we all practice in our professional lives and it is extremely hypocritical of us to wish Narine do otherwise. And it is not like 50,000 people are going to watch West Indies play New Zealand in a test match.

  • crickethung on June 1, 2014, 7:38 GMT

    This has nothing to do with Narine's record in Tests. This is a matter of managing the modern cricketer. We cannot be penny wise and pound foolish. Rules are important but it must never be cast in stone. How in the world can you allow a player to participate in a tournament for nearly two months then ask him to abandon his team in the finals? What kind of team man will he be then? Mr. Pybus though you may have good intentions ...you are wrong. This is the inflexibility of English type archaic management of people. The problem with WI cricket has always been their ability to manage their human resource. The psyche of a WI player is very unique because it is shaped by a different kind of socioeconomic environment. We have to be more imaginative in our style of management. WICB will continue to be a failure if they do not understand the dynamics of managing a WI cricketer in this new era of cricket that is continuously evolving to meet the changing expectations of a new marketplace.

  • on June 1, 2014, 7:49 GMT

    Agree with Brutalanalyst, one has got to see the record Narine had vs NZ. As a New Zealander, I am glad there'll be no Narine to play but as an overall test cricket fan, it's not nice to see someone choose a league over country.

  • stormy16 on June 1, 2014, 8:09 GMT

    For me this yet another, administration bungle than a player or Narine issue. The WICB released all their players to the IPL and it was reasonable to assume that some of them would be involved in the final. What was unreasonable was for the WICB knowiing this, set a deadline before the IPL final. What worse, with a bit of flexibility, Narine can the play the first test which is what the players and fans want but in this world where administrators are bigger than the game, we stand around having these meaningless debates. How can a player who played the whole season for a franchise, and a key player, be expected walk away from the final. WICB please wake up - the game and the fans deserve better.

  • kentjones on June 1, 2014, 8:54 GMT

    the stand of the WICB is understandable in this case. One can see its policy here meant to ensure that players are available to represent WI. However with so many WI players involved in the IPL, one wonders if it is the wisest decision. Mnyn players have become millionaires from the IPL: Gayle, Pollard, Narine, Sammy, Smith, Cooper to name a few. I wonder if any of these were involved in the finals whom would they chose to represent. The IPL is here to stay. A constructive strategic method must be found to deal with the issues of conflict between country and IPL. The fire breathing dragon (IPL) is a main source of heat, once its has been slain then the important heat iis lost. Is this the ideal solution? This IPl conflict impacts most on WI, so it is up to WICB to work something out. WICB execs get your heads together and work something out.

  • Karan_cricketfan on June 1, 2014, 9:16 GMT

    @Ashok, it wouldn't come down to money. It's about not missing the final. He's already been paid at the start so not like he's getting more money or something by pllaying in the final or that his ipl contract would be terminated...