England skipper Eoin Morgan voiced sympathy Tuesday for West Indies spinner Sunil Narine after the number one-ranked bowler pulled out of the World Twenty20 following his suspension for a suspect action.
The West Indies’ hopes of winning the tournament were dealt a severe blow last month when Narine pulled out of the squad, saying he was not ready to return to the international fold after work to remodel his action.
But while Narine’s absence from the World T20 is something of a relief for Morgan’s team who play the West Indies in their opening match on Wednesday, the England skipper said he felt for his former team-mate.
“I think it’s a very touchy subject. I know Sunil. I’m not pleased to see what he’s going through. I wouldn’t wish it upon anybody,” Morgan told reporters in Mumbai.
The 27-year-old Trinidadian was suspended in November after being cited during a match in Sri Lanka for a suspect bowling action, the second time he has been reported for an illegal action.
Morgan and Narine have played together for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League (IPL), a competition in which the spinner has regularly bamboozled opponents.
“He’s bowled the same way since he was probably 15 or 16 years old. The fact he’s got to this stage in his career and it’s only being looked at now is probably disappointing from his point of view,” said Morgan.
“But there are set rules in place that are being applied.”
Despite not playing since November, Narine is still way ahead of his nearest rivals in the T20 international rankings.
Narine was a key member of the West Indies team which won the 2012 World T20, taking three wickets for just nine runs in the final against Sri Lanka in Colombo.
He is one of a number of leading bowlers who are absent from this year’s tournament, including Pakistan’s former world number one Saeed Ajmal who has struggled with a remodelled action after being reported in 2014.