I tried to talk to him: Russell on Narine's return to West Indies' T20 World Cup squad

New Delhi, May 23 (IANS): West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell has revealed that he tried to convince former teammate Sunil Narine to come out of his international retirement for next month's T20 World Cup in the Caribbean and the USA.

Narine has been in exceptional form with the bat during the ongoing season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 with Kolkata Knight Riders as he struck 482 runs including three fifties and a century and also bagged 16 scalps in the season.

Despite his sensational IPL season, Narine is not in the mood to revoke his international retirement.

"Yeah, I definitely think so, I was trying to get in his head before the squad announced for like two weeks straight. Rutherford and I tried to talk to him and say just for this World Cup, then you can retire and do whatever you want to do.

"Though he's the missing puzzle, I think he made his decision and I respect his decision as well, as a big man and as a player that does well. I think if he could change that decision the whole West Indies would be happy," Russell told Star Sports.

He heaped praise on Narine's batting form and credited team mentor Gautam Gambhir for promoting the all-rounder as opener in the season.

"I'm so happy for Sunil to be honest. I think when Gautam Gambhir got back and said that he needed him to open the batting because based on our batting line-up, I think batting him at 9th or 10th position, and he has no use at the back end there, what he can do at the top order as an opener.

"So, I think giving the opportunity and he's taking it and doing a good job as well for us. I think getting close to 500 runs is no joke, being a premier bowler who is going to look to bowl four overs and has 16 wickets under his belt this season as well, that just goes to show the true all-rounder in him. I'm very happy for him and Gautam Gambhir giving him that opportunity as well, I think that was a good decision for the team," Russell added.

The experienced all-rounder said KKR are ready to face any opponent in the final on Sunday after their thumping win against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Qualifier 1 on Tuesday.

"I've had a chat with the guys during team meetings and I said that to be the champion, you have to beat the best teams. Playing Sunrisers and the way we went about our business in the first qualifier, I think we are ready for any opponent.

"I'm kind of worried about how cricket is, where you beat a team two times in the league stage and then in the most important game, the finals, things can just turn the other way. Definitely, I'm not going to say on live camera that I want to play the Rajasthan Royals or any other team, but who knows," Russell said.

The winner of the Qualifier 2 between Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals will take on KKR at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Sunday.



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Title: I tried to talk to him: Russell on Narine's return to West Indies' T20 World Cup squad

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