Give Russell a reason to stay – Lewis
Former national cricketer Wayne Lewis says that the Jamaica Tallawahs have to improve communication with all-rounder Andre Russell if the franchise stands any chance of keeping him beyond the 2020 Caribbean Premier League (CPL) season.
The 32-year-old took to Instagram last week to announce his intention to leave the team after the 2020 season, citing problems with team management. The issues ranged from unprofessionalism to not involving him in the future plans of the team. This was a day after Chris Gayle went on YouTube to speak on his recent departure from the Tallawahs, also criticising management and assistant coach Ramnaresh Sarwan. He ultimately signed with the St Lucia Zouks.
Russell is currently in the final year of his contract, and Lewis believes that the Tallawahs must repair the divide between the two parties in order to convince him to continue to play for Jamaica.
"Obviously, there is a communication gap. My suggestion is that since he has another season before his contract expires, they need to work on the relationship during the period and try and get him to change his mind because he is integral going forward," Lewis told STAR Sports.
Russell returned to the team as captain in 2018 after serving his one-year anti-doping ban. He made five appearances for the team in 2019 but was ruled out for the rest of the tournament due to injury. The Tallawahs finished last season at the bottom of the CPL standings.
Lewis believes that the situation can be salvaged if management is transparent with Russell on team decisions, a request that he thinks is more than fair.
"They need to give him what he wants, and those things are not unreasonable requests that he is making. He just needs to know, as a senior member of the team, what is happening, and try involve him a little bit more and try to seek out his experience and expertise when you are making tough decisions, and so on," he said. "If you can get him to be a little more all-inclusive, then I have no doubt that he will be a lot happier at the end of the season."