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Russell defends status as T20 gun for hire

Published:Wednesday | December 16, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Russell

West Indies allrounder Andre Russell has defended his status as a T20 gun for hire, saying he should not be denied the right to secure financial gains from the game.

Russell, a member of the Sydney Thunder in the Australian Big Bash, is considered one of the more active players on the international Twenty20 circuit.

The Big Bash will be his fifth domestic Twenty20 competition after tournaments in India, Bangladesh, the Caribbean and elsewhere.

"As a professional, you have to think about living after cricket," said Russell, who has played one Test, but says he is no longer available because his knees cannot withstand the rigours of the longer format.

"You can't go into a supermarket and say ... I used to play for West Indies, I had 10 half-centuries, 15 hundreds, you can't get groceries like that - you have to live. You can't be begging on the road, you can't live off your stats."

The Jamaican cricketer says he is hurt by media criticism of the West Indies team following their innings and 212-run defeat to Australia in the opening Test.

"I see terrible comments in the papers and it hurts," said Russell.

"As a West Indian, I didn't feel I could leave the room, because I didn't want anyone to see me or ask me about what's happening because I may be rude and I'm not that type of person."

West Indies play Australia in the second Test match starting on Boxing Day, and Russell, while not optimistic, is hoping for a miraculous change of fortune for the Caribbean side.

"It's a funny game. We just have to wait and see what will happen on Boxing Day. I'm not saying the West Indies can't beat Australia, but come on, we have to face the facts," Russell said.

"These guys know how to bowl and bat on their pitches. We still didn't have to lose so bad. Even if we go down the next game, we'll go down fighting."

- CMC