The International Cricket Council’s (ICC) decision to clear the bowling action of West Indies spinner Sunil Narine has come as a huge relief to the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), said Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan.
Narine, who has played a key role in KKR’s success in recent years, was cleared by the ICC on Friday. The mystery spinner successfully underwent tests at the Sri Ramachandra University in Chennai on March 28 after spending months remodelling his action.
The 27-year-old was banned last November after the ICC ruled his action to be illegal.
“I don’t know what changes he has had now. But it is a huge relief for the team. He is a very important part of KKR. Every time KKR has done well he has had a huge influence. It is a positive news for us,” Shakib said.
The all-rounder, who bowls left-arm off-spin, said Narine will still be the leader of the spinning unit.
“For Narine, I don’t think so the setback will matter too much. He is a world class spinner and everybody respect him. This time, too he will be leading the spinning attack. He has always played a vital role for KKR,” Shakib stated.
Shakib also said that he has had enough rest after the World Twenty20 and is now ready to take up further challenges.
“We have had some rest after our final World T20 game. Eight to ten days enough time for a player to get refreshed,” he said.
Bangladesh did not have a fruitful outing at the World T20. They could not win a single game and had to return home disappointed.
“In T20 cricket, you do not look back. For Bangladesh it was disappointing, we had a lot of expectations. We did not have results going our way but it is not that we played dismal cricket,” Shakib insisted.
“If we had not committed some silly errors we could have won a few matches. For KKR, I feel proud to play at the Eden Gardens. I am satisfied with the contribution I have made so far and hopefully I will improve on my game further this season.”
South African great Jacques Kallis has taken up the role of KKR coach this season, with previous incumbent Trevor Bayliss moving to England. But Shakib said that there has not been too much difference in training.
“Not much of a difference in training. Obviously, they are different individuals but their thinking process is quite the same. We are not having problems adjusting to Kallis now,” he asserted.
“Since Kallis has been a part of KKR for some time now, it will be easy for him to manage us.”
Shakib said he has no international commitments for now and hopes to stay through the length of the season for the Knight Riders.
“I don’t have international duties as of now, so hopefully I will be here for the full length of the season,” he said.
The 29-year-old said the team is gelling well and is ready for the challenge.
“We have a strong team now. But we have to perform on the ground. We are gelling together well and I am hoping for the best. Everyone’s focused and ready for the challenge,” he said.