Narine open to Tests once action improves

Port of Spain (Trinidad), Sep 2 (IANS) Embattled off-spinner Sunil Narine could soon be available again for the West Indies in the longest version of cricket but first wants to continue fine-turning his action.

West Indies head coach Phil Simmons said he had spoken during the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) to the 27-year-old who indicated he would make himself available only for the limited-overs versions at this stage, reports CMC.

“Speaking with Narine during the CPL, he still wants to be 100 percent confident about the consistency of his action before returning to Test cricket. He noted he is happy with the improvement (in) his action during CPL and is available for the West Indies in the limited-overs section at present,” Simmons said.

Narine has not suited up for the Windies in over a year with his last appearance coming during Bangladesh’s tour of the Caribbean in August 2014. His last Test outing was nearly two years ago.

His action has since come under heavy scrutiny in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and he was twice called for a suspect action during the Champions League Twenty20 and subsequently banned from bowling in the final for Kolkata Knight Riders.

Narine opted out of the West Indies World Cup squad earlier this year to focus on his rehabilitation and was forced to undergo Indian cricket board (BCCI) -sanctioned testing on his action before he could turn out for KKR in the 2015 season.

The West Indies will also have to do without all-rounder Dwayne Bravo and opener Lendl Simmons in Tests with players indicating their unwillingness to return because of the pay structure of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

“I have had good discussions speaking with all the players. Yes, Bravo and Lendl said they don’t want to play Tests for reasons (CBA pay structure) you mentioned, but I’m happy that they were honest about that,” Simmons said.

“My position is if you don’t want to play Test cricket for whatever reasons, we won’t select you. But if players openly state they are available for that format, I don’t really want them changing their minds when we select them.”

Both Bravo and Lendl Simmons announced their retirement from Tests earlier this year.

Coach Simmons, meanwhile, confirmed that opener Chris Gayle would be available for all formats once he recovered from back surgery.

The West Indies travel to Sri Lanka for a Test and one-day series next month.

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