Andre Russell, a star all-around player for the West Indies, has said he wants to play in his nation’s T20 World Cup campaign in Australia in two months, but he has added that Cricket West Indies (CWI) must also agree to his demands.
Russell, who last appeared for his nation in the ICC T20 World Cup in Dubai last year, claimed that at 34, he still hoped to help his nation win the competition.
Speaking to former team-mate Daren Sammy about his international availability prior to a domestic match in England, Russell told Sky Sports: “I always want to play and give back. But at the end of the day, if we are not agreeing on certain terms…they (CWI) have to respect my terms as well. At the end of the day, it is what it is.
“We have families and we have to make sure that we give our best opportunity while we have one career. It’s not like I can start over again. I’m 34 and I want to win another World Cup — or two more — for West Indies because at the end of the day, I’m here now, and I’m just taking it day by day,” he added.
Russell has participated in 67 T20 Internationals and has been a member of two World Cup-winning West Indies T20 sides, in 2012 and 2016.
Russell’s remarks came days after West Indies coach Phil Simmons expressed his displeasure at the absence of important players at the international level, with players like Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, and Russell reportedly not showing much interest in the T20 World Cup.
Russell, however, is adamant that he wants to participate in the planning.
“Of course, of course. The maroon is all over. Honestly, I have two franchise hundreds and I wish those hundreds were actually playing for West Indies. I don’t regret saying this just now. I really enjoyed playing for Jamaica Tallawahs but those two hundreds, it would be more special coming in international cricket,” he added.
Russell will return to the West Indies after his time in England to play for the Trinbago Knight Riders in the month-long Caribbean Premier League (CPL), which starts at the end of this month.
Strong CPL performances, according to West Indies great and current head selector Desmond Haynes, will be crucial in determining who plays in the T20 World Cup.
“If there is a competition that is run by the West Indies (and) somebody is playing well, I think his name should really come up for selection,” Haynes had said recently.
(Inputs from IANS)