Cricket News

‘I know this was coming’- Andre Russell reacts to Simmons’s ‘can’t beg people to play for their countries’ remark

Russell has now offered a somewhat cryptic social-media response to these comments
Andre Russell
Andre Russell – Source (Twitter)

With two more high-profile T20 leagues coming up, top West Indian players are the hot picks in each of them, and the situation has all the makings of a freshly brewed divide between the players and the team management, and, by extension, the West Indies Cricket Board. There are signs that it might have sprung up already.

On Wednesday, Phil Simmons, the head coach of the West Indies men’s team, and Desmond Haynes, the lead selector, had expressed their displeasure at the lack of clarity over the unavailability of certain players, including Andre Russell.

“It hurts,” Simmons said. “There’s no other way to put it. But what can you do? I don’t think that I should be begging people to play for their countries. I think if you want to represent West Indies, you will make yourself available.”

Russell has now offered a somewhat cryptic social-media response to these comments. He put up an Instagram post with a screenshot of ESPNCricinfo’s news piece with Simmons’ quote in the headline, and this comment: “I know this was coming but am gonna stay quiet!!!”

Russell hasn’t played for West Indies since the 2021 T20 World Cup. He isn’t part of their squad for the ongoing three-match T20I series against New Zealand. Haynes said, “he is unavailable because he hasn’t made himself available”. Russell, however, is playing for the Manchester Originals in The Hundred tournament. He was also part of the list of overseas players unveiled by the UAE’s ILT20, which starts in January next year.

Russell has also spoken about his wish to play for the West Indies as much as possible in the past. However, at the same time he is prioritizing league cricket over Internationals. Late last year, he played for Deccan Gladiators in the Abu Dhabi T10 League, but opted out of West Indies’ Tour of Pakistan, which began just over a week later, for personal reasons.

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