Kolkata Knight Riders threaten to quit IPL 8 if BCCI doesn't give Sunil Narine go-ahead
With the eighth season of the IPL scheduled to start on April 8, 2015, defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have threatened to pull out of the tournament if the BCCI doesn’t allow their star spinner Sunil Narine to play. Narine, the Knight Riders’ Caribbean import, was banned from participating in the BCCI-organised tournaments during the Champions League T20 (CLT20) last year after being reported for suspect action twice in his last two matches, the second of which also happened to be the semi-final of the tournament.
Narine’s absence was felt in the final, where Chennai Super Kings romped home chasing a target of 181 against the Gautam Gambhir-led unit. The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), then, withdrew the 26-year-old from its squad for the international commitments that followed, including the recently concluded World Cup, and asked him to focus on rectifying the issues surrounding his action.
BCCI turns down ICC’s report
While Narine has now got his action cleared from the ICC-approved biomechanical assessment centre in Loughborough, the BCCI, refusing to accept the report, remains firm on its stand that the bowler will be cleared only if he undergoes another test in one of its centres, at Chennai.
This has led to the Knight Riders thinking that their player is being targeted in an attempt to weaken their team – Narine has the best average and economy rate among bowlers who have taken 50 or more wickets in the history of the tournament.
Is it an attempt to weaken KKR?
While welcoming the suspect action clean-up, Gambhir had said last year that he felt that the board was specifically targeting certain players. Incidentally, the first match that Narine missed out after being suspended was against the Super Kings – a franchise owned by the then BCCI president N Srinivasan.
The KKR management believes that Narine shouldn’t be forced to undergo another test, as the ICC has cleared his action. BCCI president Jagmohan Dalmiya is expected to take a call on this issue in a day or two.