ICC World T20 2016: Sunil Narine and Kieron Pollard pull out of West Indies World T20 squad
All-rounder Kieron Pollard and star bowler Sunil Narine have pulled out of the West Indies squad for the 2016 ICC World T20 to be held in India, IBN Live reports.
According to a statement released by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), Pollard was sidelined due to ongoing issues with his fitness while Narine is still working on remodelling his illegal bowling action.
While there is a distinct possibility that more players could pull out prior to the event beginning on March 16 due to the ongoing pay dispute between the West Indies players and the national board, the WICB have made it clear that Narine’s and Pollard’s non-availability has nothing to do with the controversy surrounding the 2012 World T20 champions.
Pollard had suffered a devastating knee injury while fielding for Cape Cobras in South Africa’s domestic Ram Slam T20 competition and was subsequently ruled out of the remainder of the tournament as well as the fifth edition of the Big Bash League where he was slated to play for Adelaide Strikers.
Pollard pulled out due to injury: WICB
Pollard’s rehabilitation has taken more time than was expected, and there were serious concerns whether he would make it in time for the World T20.
With time running out, a decision has been taken to give Pollard ample time to make a steady recovery rather than accelerate his return to the cricket field.
"Kieron Pollard withdrew from the squad citing a lack of sufficient progress in his rehabilitative work (injury sustained in December) and hence won’t be fit for the tournament," said a spokeswoman for the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB).
Narine, meanwhile, has been struggling to make a comeback with a remodelled bowling action ever since he was reported for suspect action during the 2014 edition of the now-defunct Champions League T20.
He was once again reported during an ODI against Sri Lanka in November 2015 following which the mystery spinner was suspended from bowling with immediate effect by the ICC after tests revealed that his action was illegal.
Though he was selected for the 2015 World Cup, Narine had pulled out of the tournament as he could not remodel his action to an effective one and the same reason has prompted the 27-year-old to pull out of the T20 World Cup as well.
"Sunil Narine withdrew citing insufficient progress in the rehabilitative work on his bowling action. He is currently banned from bowling in international cricket," the WICB statement read.