Narine's return brings relief
KOLKATA, India, (CMC):
Kolkata Knight Riders have expressed relief following the International Cricket Council's decision to lift the bowling ban on their champion off-spinner Sunil Narine.
The 27-year-old West Indies player was banned last November after the ICC ruled his action illegal. However, he was cleared him to return to international cricket late Thursday, after remodelling his action and then successfully undergoing tests at the Sri Ramachandra University in Chennai last month.
And with the new Indian Premier League bowling off today, Narine's Knight Riders teammate Shakib Al Hasan said the news was definitely welcome.
"I don't know what changes he has had now, but it is a huge relief for the team," the Bangladeshi all-rounder said.
"He is a very important part of KKR. Every time KKR has done well, he has had huge influence. It is a positive news for us."
Narine has been key to KKR's fortunes in the IPL. His Man-of-the-Series 24 wickets in 2012 helped them to the title and captured 21 in 2014 as the Kolkata-based franchise won the title for a second time in three years.
He also nabbed 22 wickets in 2013 even though KKR missed out on the playoffs.
Though Narine has been sidelined for the last four months, Shakib said he did not anticipate this having a major impact on the player's performance.
"For Narine, I don't think so the setback will matter too much," he pointed out.
"He is a world-class spinner and everybody respects him. This time, too, he will be leading the spinning attack. He has always played a vital role for KKR."
KKR take on Carlos Brathwaite's Delhi Daredevils in Kolkata on Sunday.