Kolkata Knight Riders star Shakib Al Hasan said the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) clean chit to spinner Sunil Narine’s bowling action has come as a major boost to their campaign in the Indian Premier League (IPL) season nine.
The Bangladesh all-rounder said Narine has played a great role in KKR’s success in the league.
“It’s a big relief not only to me but to the entire team. He is a vital cog in KKR’s wheel. He has always played a great role in KKR’s success. So, it’s a big positive for us,” Shakib said on the sidelines of their practice session.
West Indies off-spinner Narine had undergone a re-test at the Sri Ramachandra University in Chennai on March 28 and checked in the city ahead of KKR’s camp. However, he had to rush back home after his father’s untimely demise.
Narine was reported during the third ODI against Sri Lanka on 7th November, 2015 in Pallekele and was subsequently banned.
At the re-test, it was revealed that the amount of elbow extensions in Narine’s bowling action for all his deliveries that were tested was within the 15-degree level of tolerance permitted.
The umpires, however, are free to report Narine in the future if they believe he uses a suspect action.
Shakib said that Narine would still command the same respect he’s been getting all these years.
“I don’t think it matters much for a quality spinner like Narine. Everyone knows he’s a world-class bowler and batsmen give him the respect. I still think he will still lead the pack. Of course we will contribute in our way. His role is very important,” said the Bangladesh all-rounder ahead of their season opener against Delhi Daredevils in Kolkata on Sunday.
With KKR boasting of legendary all-rounder Jacques Kallis as their head coach, Shakib said that the South African is way ahead of others.
“It’s a new role for him. I’m sure he would do well with his vast experience. No coach in the world has so much of experience as him. He is way ahead of others. I’m sure everyone will support him and will do well for us,” he said.
“I don’t think much has changed. Yes they are different people but their thought process is all same. We never faced any problem. Kallis knows all the players inside out so it will be easier for him.” .
Fresh from playing in these conditions in the World Twenty20, Shakib said he’s looking forward to contribute to the team’s success.
“I feel proud to be able to play at the Eden in KKR’s colours. I’m happy with my contribution in the last few seasons. I hope to contribute to their success in future. I think our team is stronger than before. We gel together well. We all are focused and up for the challenge.”
On whether fatigue would be a concern, he said: “May be it will be difficult for the ones who have played in the final. But for me, I had about 8-10 days’ off after our last match on March 26. I think it was enough time for me to recover.”
After two home matches, against DD and Mumbai Indians (April 13), KKR will be on the road for a six-match away run and Shakib said this could be an advantage.
“We want to focus on ourselves and take one match at a time. First two matches are very important for us. It will be a big plus for us if we can win the away matches and return home for the home leg.”
With no national commitments, Shakib will be available for all the KKR matches this season.
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