Andre Russell wants Sunil Narine to come out of retirement, play T20 World Cup 2024

West Indies spinner announced his retirement from international cricket in 2023

By Web Desk
May 22, 2024
Andre Russell and Sunil Narine are teammates at Kolkata Knight Riders. - BCCI

West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell has opened up on the one final plea he made to Sunil Narine to feature in the T20 World Cup.

Narine had announced his retirement from international cricket in 2023 but his all-round performance for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in IPL 2024 has been impeccable, with his teammates wanting him to return.

Speaking to Star Sports, Russell expressed his happiness for Sunil Narine, who has made a significant impact for KKR this season.

Russell attributed Narine's success to the arrival of Gautam Gambhir, noting that the mystery spinner had not been utilised effectively by KKR in previous seasons.

"I am so happy for Sunil to be honest. I think when GG (Gautam Gambhir) came back, I think he said that we needed him (Narine) to open the batting. Batting him at No. 9 or No. 10, we really had no use of him in the backend. I think, given the opportunity, he has taken it and he is doing a good job as well for us," he said after KKR beat SRH to make a place in the IPL 2024 final

"I think getting close to 500 runs is no joke while being a premier bowler. He has picked up 16 wickets as well. It just goes to show a true all-rounder in him. I am very very happy for him. You know, GG giving him an opportunity as well. That’s a good decision for the team," he added.

When asked if Narine should participate in the T20 World Cup, which the West Indies are co-hosting, Russell expressed his desire for Narine to play in the ICC tournament. Russell disclosed that for the last two weeks, he had been quietly mentioning the ICC tournament to Narine.

"I definitely think so (should Narine play T20 World Cup?). I was trying to get in his head before the squad was announced. For like two weeks straight, me and Rutherford kept talking to him and told him ‘hey please, just for this World Cup, then you can retire, do whatever you want to do’. I think he has made a decision and I respect his decision as well," Russell said.

"If he could change the decision, the whole West Indies will be happy," concluded the all-rounder.

It must be noted Narine decided not to make a U-turn to come back for the West Indies ahead of the upcoming T20 World Cup last month.

“I hope this message finds you all well and in good health. I am truly flattered and humbled that my performances recently have moved many people to publicly express their wish for me to come out of retirement and play in the upcoming T20 World Cup," he posted on Instagram.

"I have made peace with that decision and whilst I never wish to disappoint, that door is now closed and I will be supporting the guys who take the field in June for West Indies. Guys who have worked hard over the past few months and deserve to show our wonderful fans that they are capable of winning another title. I wish you all the best," he added.