Pollard, Narine pull out of WI World Cup squad
ST JOHN'S, Antigua (CMC):
West Indies have been struck by the late withdrawals of leading players Kieron Pollard and Sunil Narine, dealing yet another blow to the embattled Twenty20 World Cup squad.
Already grappling with a contentious contracts dispute with players, the West Indies Cricket Board announced yesterday that both Pollard and Narine had pulled out of the 15-man squad for the March 8 to April 3 tournament.
Pollard advised the board Tuesday he had not fully recovered from an injury sustained last December, while Narine said yesterday he had not made sufficient progress on remodelling his action to participate in the tournament.
All-rounder Carlos Brathwaite has been named as a replacement for Pollard, while selectors are yet to name Narine's replacement.
The absence of both players will be a blow for West Indies, especially in the shortest format, where they have already proved their worth.
Big-hitting Pollard, a devastating lower-order batsman, is one of the most seasoned T20 campaigners in the game, having scored nearly 6,000 runs in 299 T20s at an average of 31 and a strike rate of 153.
The 28-year-old has taken 214 wickets with his slow medium pace at an economy rate of nearly eight per over.
He, like Narine, was part of the squad which won the T20 World Cup four years ago in Sri Lanka.
Narine, meanwhile, is currently banned from bowling internationally, after his action was ruled illegal by the International Cricket Council last November.