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Playing for West Indies is my first priority, Andre Russell

December 11, 2020

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West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell has been part of several T20 leagues around the world. Currently representing KKR in the IPL, Russell has been a consistent performer for the KKR franchise. However, his injuries have impacted his T20I career in an adverse manner. Since 2018, Russell has only played 2 T20Is for West Indies.

Russell finally got an opportunity to get some T20I games under his belt this year. However, he opted to play in the Lanka Premier League. Many fans felt that Russell was not loyal enough to the country. Russell dismissed those allegations, stating that playing for the nation is the most important thing for him. He felt that people will keep on judging him but that he knows his 1st priority - playing for West Indies.

Russell discloses a conversation with Kieron Pollard about the Tour of New Zealand

As per the latest COVID-19 protocols, it is now mandatory for every player to get accustomed to life inside a bio-bubble. Russell was already living in the bio-bubble before participating in the Caribbean Premier League. Prior to this, Russell again went to live in the bio-bubble when he traveled to the UAE for IPL 2020.

The 32-year-old cricketer was finding it hard to cope with the bio-bubble procedures. Russell also stated that WI chief selector Roger Harper asked Russell about his availability for the upcoming series against New Zealand.

The all-rounder then had a talk with West Indies captain Kieron Pollard to discuss this issue. Eventually, Russell decided not to take part in the tour. Russell felt that he was not mentally fit to face New Zealand, and hence he took such a decision. However, later on, Russell had a change of mind. He wanted to be part of the tour against New Zealand. Unfortunately, it was too late by then. Russell reckons that Pollard understood his situation back then. Being confined within the bio-bubble did not bode well for Andre Russell.

The T20 World Cup is set to start in less than a year as West Indies look to defend their title. West Indies would want Andre Russell in his best form. Russell will prove to be quite handy in the limited-overs format. Russell has played 49 T20Is so far. He has amassed a total of 974 runs and picked up 26 wickets. Russell would not want to miss an opportunity to help his country defend the T20I title. If he really priorities playing for his country, he should be available for the team.

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