“Hope they can crack his code” – West Indies Captain Powell wants Narine to play T20 World Cup

West Indies T20I captain Rovman Powell has been trying to persuade Sunil Narine to unretire from international cricket to play in the upcoming T20 World Cup.

All-rounder Narine smashed his first T20 century on Tuesday and took two wickets for Kolkata Knight Riders as they went down to Rajasthan Royals.

The 35-year-old announced his international retirement in 2023, four years after he last played a T20 for the West Indies.

But with the World Cup in June hosted by the West Indies, together with the United States, Powell hopes his countryman will have a change of heart.

Now, against the Rajasthan Royals on April 16, Narine struck his maiden IPL century to propel Kolkata Knight Riders to 223-6.

After the match, he left a vague indication of a change in stance: “It is what it is, but let’s see what the future holds.”

Narine called time on his international career in 2023, four years after playing his last game, against India. He was an integral part of the West Indies team that won their maiden T20 World Cup in 2012. From 51 T20Is, he has picked up 52 wickets at 21.25 and 6.01 with a career-best of 4-12.

After the match, Powell revealed that he had been constantly trying to convince Narine to take a U-turn on his international retirement: “For the last 12 months, I’ve been whispering in his ears, but he’s blocked out everyone. I’ve asked [Kieron] Pollard, [Dwayne] Bravo, [Nicholas] Pooran. Hopefully, before they select the team, they can crack his code.”

Powell contributed with 26 off 13 in a nail-biting run-chase. He took on Narine in the 17th over, smashing him for four and two consecutive sixes, but Narine had his revenge by trapping his national captain leg-before

The match was eventually concluded on the last ball with Jos Buttler (107 not out off 60) pulling off the joint-highest successful chase in IPL history virtually on his own.

At 35, Narine is plying his trade as a T20 globetrotter and has been performing exceedingly well for KKR in IPL 2024. In addition to his economical bowling this year, he been extremely successful as an opening batter. So far this season, he has amassed 276 runs at 46 and 188 and picked up seven wickets from six matches.

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