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|Test Indies T20 specialist Andre Russell says he still wants to play international cricket but is insisting that the Windies selectors must respect his terms as well.
He is also suggesting that the selectors have thrown him under the proverbial bus.
The Jamaican who has not played for the West Indies since last November’s T20 World Cup, made the remark while responding to a question from former West Indies captain Darren Sammy.
Both are in England where Russell is playing for Manchester Originals in The Hundred and Sammy is doing commentary for Sky Sports. The two were talking ahead of Manchester Originals’ game against Welsh Fire on Tuesday night.
With many senior players seemingly preferring to ply their trade in T20 leagues around the world, West Indies, which have twice won the World Cup in the shortest format, have been struggling with both consistency and team selection all year with the next World Cup set to begin on October 16.
Last week, Russell appeared to respond to head coach Phil Simmons’ statement that he would not be “begging” players to be available for West Indies.
“I know this was coming but am gonna stay quiet!!!” Russell wrote in a now-deleted post to his Instagram page. The post was completed with four “angry” emojis.
He would not be drawn initially when Sammy pressed him to comment, stating that “I’m going to be quiet, because at the end of the day, we had a discussion, and the discussion was very clear”.
“So now, making me look bad, throwing me under the bus… I was expecting it. I’m going to stay quiet, Daren, to be honest,” he added.
When Sammy asked Russell if he still wanted to play for West Indies, he was emphatic in his response.
“Of course, of course. The maroon is all over,” he said. “Honestly, I have two franchise hundreds and I wish those hundreds were actually playing for West Indies. I don’t regret saying this just now. I really enjoyed playing for Jamaica Tallawahs but those two hundreds, it would be more special coming in international cricket”.
Continuing, Russell said: “I always want to play and give back. But, at the end of the day, if we are not agreeing on certain terms, your terms are my terms [sic], and they have to respect my terms as well. At the end of the day, it is what it is. We have families and we have to make sure that we give our best opportunity while we have one career.
“It’s not like I can start over again. I’m 34 and I want to win another World Cup – or two more – for West Indies because, at the end of the day, I’m here now, and I’m just taking it day by day.”
As to whether the hard-hitting batsman will don the maroon of the West Indies again could be answered soon. He will leave The Hundred next week to play in the Caribbean Premier League for Trinbago Knight Riders and Desmond Haynes, West Indies’ lead selector, has suggested that performances in that tournament would be a major factor in World Cup selection.
“If there is a competition that is run by the West Indies [and] somebody is playing well, I think his name should come up for selection,” Haynes said last week. (Loop News)