Bravo, Narine face critical decisions
Trinidad and Tobago Newsday – WEST INDIES Cricket Board (WICB) Director Dr Allen
Sammy says off-spinner Sunil Narine and batsman Darren Bravo have big career decisions to make.
Both players were snapped up at the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction on Saturday with Kolkata Knight Riders buying Narine for a whopping US$700,000, while Bravo went to the Deccan Chargers for US$100,000. The dilemma, however, is that the IPL is scheduled for April 4-May 27 which falls right in the middle of two difficult series for the West Indies.
The regional side face Australia in a three-Test rubber from April 7-27 at home and then go to England where they take on their host in three Tests with the first starting on May 17.
And with Bravo now beginning to establish himself as one of the premier batsmen for the West Indies, the left-hander has a serious choice to make. He can cash in on his lucrative IPL contract and miss the chance to further enhance his reputation against arguably the two best teams in the world or opt out and attempt to prove former Australian captain Steve Waugh right as the next superstar.
Narine has an even harder decision as he made his debut for the West Indies late last year against India and to leave US$700,000 on the table will be almost insane. Narine has played just three One-Day Internationals (ODIs) but after taking an astonishing 13 wickets for 39 runs on Saturday against the Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC) in the WICB Regional Four- Day competition, he is putting pressure on Guyana’s Devendra Bishoo as the number one spinner in the region. Speaking to Newsday yesterday, Dr Sammy noted that both players are between a rock and a hard place.
“It’s a personal thing. They have to make big career decisions. Narine has a good chance of making the Test team. If he goes (to the IPL) he jeopardises his chances of making the Test team but young people don’t think like old people. It’s approximately TT$4.2 million for just six weeks of cricket and he is young so he might say he can play Test cricket for the rest of his life after,” the WICB Director said.
Meanwhile, Dr Sammy believes Minister of Sport Anil Roberts can intervene if he is adamant on both representing the region.
“Our Minister of Sport said that if he had known about (Kieron) Pollard and (Dwayne) Bravo playing for their IPL clubs instead of TT he would have bought out their contracts. I’m sure the TTCB can put it as an option to buy out Narine and Bravo’s contracts. It might be something to put to the Minister for consideration,” he contemplated.
Although putting forward that scenario, Dr Sammy was not sold on it as he reckons there is much more at stake for the players than their contracts.
“It’s not just playing in the IPL, it’s international exposure. For Sunil it’s not just US$700,000 but also commercial opportunities. It’s a million dollar contract if you think about it. Playing on the big stage gives him a lot more opportunities than he would have had,” he explained.
Dr Sammy noted that cricket boards around the world are still coming to grips with the mass commercialisation of the game but instead of fighting it they must continue trying to unearth new talent.