Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have got a shot in the arm with news that West Indian spinner Sunil Narine has been cleared by the International Cricket Council (ICC) following a ban for an illegal bowling action.
The mystery spinner was reported during a One Day International (ODI) game against Sri Lanka in Pallekele in 2015 and was subsequently banned from all forms of cricket. Irrespective of the ban, he was named in the West Indies squad for the recently concluded ICC T20 World Cup 2016. However, he himself pulled out of the tournament after claiming that his remodelled bowling action was still a work in progress.
The 27-year-old has been a key bowler for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL, taking 67 wickets at an average of just 16 and has played a big part in their title triumph. Despite his bowling action being cleared, Narine might miss the team's opening match against Delhi Daredevils after returning home in Trinidad due to his father's death.
"Unfortunately, he has lost a family member, his dad passed away so he has gone back," said former South African all-rounder and current Kolkata coach Jacques Kallis. "We are certainly not putting any pressure on him to get back yet," he added, as quoted by cricketaustralia.com.
"It's something that I have been through and know how tough a time it is so we are not putting any pressure on Narine. When he's right and feels he is ready to play cricket he will come to us."
Kolkata Knight Riders are not short of spin options, with Australian Brad Hogg, Bangladeshi Shakib al Hasan, Indian Piyush Chawla and Narine set to battle for a spot in the team. Kolkata are scheduled to play the second game of the IPL 2016 when they take on Delhi Daredevils at Eden Gardens on 10 April (Sunday).