Andre Dwayne Russell
April 29, 1988, Jamaica
Right hand Bat
Right arm Fast
A world-class seam-bowling allrounder from Jamaica, Andre Russell made his first-class debut at 19 and Test debut at 22, but it is as a T20 legend, sought after by every franchise league in the world, that he will be remembered.
By the time Russell was little more than five years into international cricket, he was a two-time T20 world champion. A batter who hits the ball hard enough to make it scream for mercy, he functions primarily as a finisher. He generates fair pace and bounce with the ball in hand and when it is anywhere near him in the field, it doesn't matter at what speed it's travelling; Russell will probably get to it. He is less a cricketer, in the traditional sense, than an athlete.
He first came to notice with his exploits in a 50-over game against Ireland in June 2010, smashing 61 off 34 balls and taking 6 for 42. It was a performance that helped him win a place in West Indies' 2011 World Cup squad. Things didn't go to plan in that tournament, but Russell's capabilities were on show against newly crowned champions India in June when he came out at No. 9, with the score at 96 for 7, and smashed 92 off 64 balls.
His impact in international cricket was somewhat sporadic until 2015, when, against South Africa in Port Elizabeth, he provided a consolation victory for West Indies on a difficult tour by hitting 64 off 40 balls to chase down 263 with one wicket to spare.
Russell's skills were evident in domestic T20 cricket all along. He had a ground-breaking CPL in 2013 when his team Jamaica Tallawahs became champions. Just as he was reaching stratospheric heights, he served time on the sidelines, when the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission charged him for not making himself available for drug tests on three occasions in 2015, an offence tantamount to one failed test. Russell was found guilty of a whereabouts-clause violation and banned for a year by an independent doping panel in Jamaica for most of 2017.
His star shone brightest at the IPL in 2015, when he was named Player of the Series, and in the Big Bash League later that year, when he struck at 186.86 and picked up 16 wickets - joint-second best - from ten matches. He won the CPL with Tallawahs in 2013, the IPL with Kolkata Knight Riders in 2014, the Bangladesh Premier League with Comilla Victorians, the BBL with Sydney Thunder, and the Pakistan Super League title with Islamabad United in 2016.
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