Calcutta: Sunil Narine, who played a huge role in the Kolkata Knight Riders’ maiden Indian Premier League (IPL) triumph, in 2011-12, is one of the franchise’s seven players booked to fly out of Sri Lanka for the Champions League T20 in South Africa.
The World T20 gets over on October 7 and the CLT20 proper starts six days later. The qualifiers begin on October 9 itself.
“We’re not aware of Trinidad & Tobago’s position, but Narine is in our squad of 15. He’s one of seven players who will be leaving for South Africa immediately after the World T20,” a well-placed source told The Telegraph on Thursday evening.
Clearly, then, the Trinidad & Tobago government (particularly sports minister Anil Roberts) couldn’t convince Narine, the Player of the Series in the last IPL, to play for the Caribbean T20 champions.
It’s understood that Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard are also going to turn out for their IPL franchises and not for Trinidad & Tobago. Bravo plays for the Chennai Super Kings, while Pollard is a Mumbai Indians star.
The bit about Bravo and Pollard couldn’t, however, be confirmed.
Going by the rules, Trinidad & Tobago (the ‘home’ team) will have to be compensated by the ‘away’ teams for each player. It’s a fixed sum — $ 150,000.
“Where we’re concerned, the necessary paper work has been done and, so, we don’t expect problems over Narine,” another well-placed source added.
Captain Gautam Gambhir, Manoj Tiwary, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Jacques Kallis, Brendon McCullum and Shakib-al Hasan are the ones who (as of now) are going to keep Narine company on the Colombo-Johannesburg journey.
McCullum, incidentally, has become the No.1-ranked T20 batsman.
According to the well-placed sources, Brett Lee and Ryan ten Doeschate will reach South Africa on their own, while India A’s Shami Ahmed is to fly there from New Zealand.
The remaining five players, such as Yusuf Pathan, Rajat Bhatia, Iqbal Abdulla and Manvinder Singh Bisla (hero of the 2011-12 final), are scheduled to leave from India in the early hours of October 5.
For the first few days, the Knights are going to be based in Potchefstroom, before moving to Johannesburg in the lead-up to their first match, against the Delhi DareDevils on October 13, in Centurion.
The Knights’ remaining matches in the league stage will be on October 15 (versus qualifier No.1), October 17 (against the Perth Scorchers) and October 21 (versus the Titans).
South Africa’s hosting the CLT20 for the second time, after 2010. Two editions, in 2009 and in 2011, have been staged in India.