Sunil Narine, the West Indies all-rounder who was known for his mystery spin and explosive batting, has announced his retirement from international cricket on November 5, 2023. Narine, who made his debut for the West Indies in 2011, played 122 matches across all formats and took 165 wickets. He was also a part of the West Indies team that won the T20 World Cup in 2012 and 2016.
Reasons for retirement
Sunil Narine, who is 35 years old, said that he decided to retire from international cricket because he had not played for the West Indies for over four years. His last appearance for the West Indies was in a T20I against India in August 2019. He said that he wanted to focus on playing franchise cricket around the world and representing his home country, Trinidad and Tobago, in domestic cricket.
Sunil Narine also thanked his fans, peers, and family for their support and love throughout his career. He especially expressed his gratitude to his father, who he said was always with him when he took the field. He also thanked Cricket West Indies, the coaching staff, the West Indies fans, and his teammates for enabling him to play at the highest level and achieve some memorable successes.
Career highlights of Sunil Narine
Sunil Narine’s international career was marked by some brilliant performances and some controversies. He emerged as a star in the 2012 T20 World Cup, where he took nine wickets at an economy rate of 5.63 and played a crucial role in the West Indies’ title triumph. He was also the man of the match in the final against Sri Lanka, where he took 3-9 in four overs.
Sunil Narine also played six Tests, 65 ODIs, and 51 T20Is for the West Indies, taking 21, 92, and 52 wickets respectively. He was ranked as the No.1 bowler in both ODIs and T20Is at various points in his career. He was also a handy lower-order batsman, scoring 1,046 runs in T20Is with four fifties.
However, Narine’s career was also affected by injuries, loss of form, and issues with his bowling action. He was reported for a suspect action several times and had to undergo remedial work and testing. He also withdrew from the 2015 ODI World Cup and the 2016 T20 World Cup due to his action problems. He also faced disciplinary action from Cricket West Indies for missing a training camp in 2016.
Despite his international troubles, Narine remained a sought-after player in various T20 leagues around the world. He was a key member of the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League, taking 163 wickets in 162 matches and scoring 1,046 runs with four fifties. He also played for Trinbago Knight Riders in the Caribbean Premier League, winning four titles with them. He also featured in the Big Bash League, Pakistan Super League, Bangladesh Premier League, and other leagues.
Sunil Narine said that he would continue to play franchise cricket for the foreseeable future. He also said that he would bow out of domestic 50-over cricket after the current Super50 Cup, where he is playing for Trinidad and Tobago. He said that winning another title with his home team would be the perfect send-off for him.
Also Read: ICC Cricket World Cup 2023: Points table
Tributes and reactions
Narine’s retirement from international cricket was met with tributes and reactions from his fans, peers, and former players. Many praised his skills, achievements, and contribution to the West Indies cricket. Some of the tweets and messages are given below:
“Congratulations on a wonderful career @SunilPNarine74. You have been a champion for the West Indies and a nightmare for the batsmen. Enjoy your retirement and keep spinning the ball.” – Chris Gayle, West Indies legend and teammate.
“Sunil Narine was one of the most exciting and innovative players of his generation. He revolutionized the art of spin bowling and entertained the fans with his explosive batting. He will be missed on the international stage, but I wish him all the best for his future endeavors.” – Brian Lara, West Indies legend and mentor.
“Sad to see Sunil Narine retire from international cricket. He was a match-winner and a game-changer for the West Indies. He had a lot of talent and potential, but unfortunately, he could not fulfill it due to various reasons. I hope he finds peace and happiness in his retirement.” – Darren Sammy, former West Indies captain and teammate.
“What a player Sunil Narine was! He was a mystery spinner who bamboozled the best batsmen in the world. He was also a destructive batsman who could change the game in a few overs. He was a joy to watch and a challenge to face. Congratulations on a great career and good luck for the future.” – Virat Kohli, India opponent.