COLOMBO, Sri Lanka -- West Indies spin bowler Sunil Narine is looking forward to Saturday night. The 24-year-old believes he has done enough to win the International Cricket Council’s Emerging Cricketer of the Year award and wants to get his hands on the trophy.
The annual International Cricket Council’s Awards gala will be held at the Water’s Edge at 4:30 pm (7 am Eastern Caribbean Time/6 am Jamaica Time).
Narine is on the short list which also includes New Zealand fast bowler Doug Bracewell, Sri Lankan top-order batsman Dinesh Chandimal, and James Pattinson, the Australian pacer. To qualify for the award a player must be under the age of 26 at the start of the observation period and have played fewer than five Tests and/or 10 One-Day Internationals and/or five T20Is at the start of the voting period.
“It would mean a lot to me to win this award…I will just hope and see what happens tomorrow night (Saturday night),” Narine said. “It’s a privilege to be nominated. Now coming onto the scene and being up for an award is a good feeling. It’s through hard work and dedication which has brought me to this point. I look forward to being nominated for a lot more awards.
“When I was called up for the West Indies team I was just looking to fit in, work hard and try and maintain my place in the team. I just want to continue performing and get a permanent place in the team,” Narine said.
Narine came onto the international scene when he made his first appearance for West Indies in India late last year, and has been quite successful in his first year of his career.
He made his Test debut in England in June and has so far taken 12 wickets in three Tests, including a match-winning 5-132 against New Zealand in the first Test in Antigua in July. He played a pivotal role as the Windies won both matches in the two-match rubber.
He has played 15 One-Day Internationals with 28 wickets at 18.82 runs per wicket. He was brilliant in the recent Digicel Series against New Zealand – which the Windies won 4-1 – and was named the Digicel Player of the Series.
Narine has been equally impressive in the T20 format with seven wickets in five appearances for the Windies. His economy rate is a mere 6.4 runs per over and he has become one of the toughest bowlers to score off. He showcased his brilliance for Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League and won the Most Valuable Player award as his team won the title.
“My debut means the most to me so far. I was called into the team and to play against India in India and to bowl the way I did, I think that was a good achievement. To make my debut and help us to win the match was pleasing for me,” he said.
In that match he bowled first change and ended with 2-34 off 10 overs as the West Indies bowled out India to win by 16 runs after setting a victory target 260 at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad.
“It was a total team effort to win against New Zealand in all three formats. To come back from losing in India and losing (Test Series) against Australia to beat New Zealand was something to cherish and something quite memorable. It said a lot about the team – that we have heart. We want take that momentum and come here and do well in the T20 World Cup,” Narine added.
The West Indies will continue their preparations for the ICC World T20 tournament with a full training session at the R Premadasa Stadium on Saturday at 9 am. They will have another training session on Sunday at the P Sara Oval at 2 pm. On Monday they will have their second warm-up match against Afghanistan at P Sara Oval at 2:30 pm.
The ICC World T20 tournament, which features 12 teams, will be played from September 18 to October 7. The West Indies have been drawn in Group B alongside Australia and Ireland and both first round matches will be at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
Their opening match will be against the Aussies on Saturday, September 22 followed by a clash with the Irish on Monday, September 24.
Full Squad: Darren Sammy (Captain), Dwayne Bravo (Vice Captain), Samuel Badree, Darren Bravo, Johnson Charles, Fidel Edwards, Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine, Denesh Ramdin (Wicket-keeper), Ravi Rampaul, Andre Russell, Marlon Samuels, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith