Sunil Narine, the West Indies spinner, finds himself in an interesting situation with two different Champions League teams claiming he will represent them in the forthcoming tournament, to be held in South Africa in October.Trinidad & Tobago, and the Kolkata Knight Riders, who Narine plays for in the Indian Premier League, have both said he would play for them.
On July 20, Anil Roberts, the Minister of Sport for Trinidad & Tobago, was quoted extensively in the Trinidad Express newspaper as saying that Narine, Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard would all play for T & T in the Champions League. On July 26, Joy Bhattachrjya, Team Director of KKR, said on Twitter: "Good news from @VenkyMysore. Sunil Narine to play for KKR in the CLT20."
Wisden India made attempts to contact Venky Mysore, the Chief Executive Officer of KKR, but could not reach him. Another KKR official, who did not wish to be named, explained the situation as the team saw it. "Contracts signed by foreign players for the IPL stipulated that they had to give first preference to their IPL teams if they qualified for the Champions League Twenty20," the official said.
"The contracts were signed only after the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) issued a 'No Objection' certificate. The WICB has agreed to let Narine play for Kolkata Knight Riders if they qualify for the CLT20 - unless Kolkata decline Narine's services. Kolkata, of course, has to compensate the Trinidad and Tobago Board for choosing to retain Narine."
Narine, who represented Trinidad and Tobago last year, played a pivotal role in the Knight Riders' victorious campaign in this year's IPL, taking 24 wickets to emerge as the second highest wicket-taker in the tournament.
Pollard and Bravo played for Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings, their IPL franchises, in last year's Champions League T20. Trinidad & Tobago, who received compensation of $1.1 million for releasing both players, failed to progress beyond the group stages.
Like last year, T&T will need to play in a qualifying round with the top two teams progressing through to the main tournament. The team topped their qualifying group last year.