Sunil Philip Narine
May 26, 1988, Arima, Trinidad & Tobago
Left hand Bat
Right arm Offbreak
Mystery spinner Sunil Narine is perhaps the first high-profile cricketer to make a career as a T20 specialist slow bowler, armed with a bag of variations - skidders, knuckleballs, carrom balls and more - for every occasion, and a party trick of thrashing quick runs up or down the order with the bat.
Narine got his call-up to the Trinidad and Tobago squad in 2009 after he took all ten wickets in a trial game. Two years later came his first big outing, when he was one of three bowlers to take ten or more wickets at the 2011 Champions League Twenty20 for T&T. In 2012, he helped take West Indies to the World T20 title, the first time they claimed a global trophy since 1979.
Narine has been a fixture for Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL since 2012 - one of a handful of players to have only played for one franchise in the competition. He was among the chief architects of the side's two title victories, in 2012 and 2014, taking over 20 wickets apiece in both seasons. In the first half of his career with them, Narine was untouchable: in 2016, with more than 650 overs bowled for KKR, he had 216 wickets at an economy rate of 5.52. Such highs were beyond him in Test cricket, though. The last of his six matches for West Indies came in December 2013 and his bowling average in the format remains a dismal 40-plus.
Perhaps no other spinners save for Saeed Ajmal and Muthiah Muralidaran have been dogged by trouble over the legitimacy of their bowling actions as much as Narine has. Before his ODI debut, in India in 2011, he needed to rework his action with the help of biomechanics experts at the University of Western Australia. In 2014 he missed out on playing the Champions League T20 final after being suspended for throwing. He withdrew himself from the ODI World Cup the following year, saying he needed to keep working on his action, but when he did return, he was suspended from bowling in international cricket after he was reported during a game against Sri Lanka in November 2015. He was cleared a few months later but missed the 2016 T20 World Cup. He was reported yet again during the PSL in 2018, cleared, then reported again in the 2020 IPL, and subsequently cleared once more.
In the second half of the 2010s, attention was cast on quite another aspect of Narine's game - his batting. Melbourne Renegades sent him in as opener that BBL season, and he delivered, then taking on the role in other leagues as well. In 2017, he produced 502 runs at a strike rate of over 150 across five T20 leagues and in T20Is.
Batting & Fielding