Decision to withdraw Narine good - TTCB president
Azim Bassarath, a director of the West Indies Cricket Board [WICB] and president of the Trinidad & Tobago Cricket Board [TTCB], has expressed his outrage over the controversy surrounding offspinner Sunil Narine's action in the Champions League Twenty20 and his subsequent withdrawal from the India tour.
Narine was barred from bowling in the Champions League final after being reported for a suspect action twice in successive games. The WICB then decided to withdraw the spinner from the entire tour of India.
"I am very disappointed with the turn of events and the news concerning Sunil's action is quite a shock," Bassarath said. "Sunil has been bowling successfully in international cricket for quite a while and has never been reported to the ICC."
Referring to Clive Lloyd's disclosure, that the West Indies board and team management had been told Narine would be under the scanner in India, Bassarath stated that the bowler's absence would be a major loss to the team but the decision to withdraw him was correct.
"What is even more disturbing is that Clive Lloyd heard Sunil would get called for his action and this cannot be taken lightly," he said. "This news does not sit well since it suggests that Sunil was being targeted and I think the decision to bring him home was a good one.
"Sunil is a big asset to the West Indies team, especially in India where he has developed a reputation as one of the best bowlers in the world. He knows the conditions in India quite well and [his withdrawal] is a major loss to the West Indies team. After being thrashed by England recently I know India will be looking to rebound and not having Sunil there is a massive blow."
Bassarath also questioned the quality of umpiring at the Champions League and suggested the ICC should have a look at that.
"I think the ICC needs to have a serious look at this matter," Bassarath said. "The umpires involved so far are not on the Elite Umpires Panel and this should be addressed. There needs to be a better standard of umpiring at this tournament."
Rod Tucker, one of the umpires who reported Narine, is an Elite Panel umpire, along with Kumar Dharmasena who was the third umpire when the bowler was reported after the game against Dolphins.
Bassarath revealed that Narine had undergone testing in Australia in 2011 to ensure his action was legal before the third edition of the Champions League, in which he played for Trinidad & Tobago. Given Narine's extensive international and club appearances in the past few years, Bassarath felt the bowler did not need to be under the microscope. The TTCB president also said his board would support Narine and take steps to help him return to international cricket.
"Sunil passed the necessary testing in Australia and has gone on to forge a successful international career so I must reiterate how shocked we are by these events," he said. "Right now the TTCB is waiting on the WICB to determine a course of action.
"I am concerned that this incident will affect Sunil's confidence and hurt his cricket career. The TTCB is 100% behind Sunil and we willl ensure that he will be representing the West Indies soon. I spoke to his parents and they are concerned about what took place in India but we will wait until Sunil returns to Trinidad and put measures in place to ensure that he overcomes this incident."
Renaldo Matadeen is a sportswriter and social media manager for ESPN Caribbean. @RenaldoMatadeen