Home IPL Big boost for Kolkata Knight Riders ahead of IPL 2018

Big boost for Kolkata Knight Riders ahead of IPL 2018

West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell is set to play his first competitive cricket matches in a year. He will represent Jamaica against the Leeward Islands tomorrow in West Indies” domestic one-day tournament game in Antigua in the Regional Super50 competition.

He was found guilty of the charge and banned by the independent tribunal from January 31, 2017, and January 30 this year. Earlier, a three-member tribunal comprising Hugh Faulkner, Dr. Marjorie Vassell and including a Jamaica cricketer, Dixeth Palmer found Russell guilty.

He served a year-long ban for violating the whereabouts clause under the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code and is free to play cricket again. He was found negligent in filing his whereabouts on three separate occasions within a 12-month time in 2015. Under the WADA rules, it amounts to a failed dope test.

Russell is one of the iconic T20 Player in major leagues around the world. He was retained by the Kolkata Knight Riders this year and paid him 8.5 Cr INR ($1.33 million approx.) alongside his West Indies teammate Sunil Narine in IPL auction.

(Pic Source: BCCI/IPL)

Currently, he will look to prove his physical match fitness in the Super50 tournament in West Indies. Out of the eight matches, he is expected to play most of the matches for Jamaica before he departs for the Pakistan Super League (PSL) where he will play for Islamabad United, the tournament will starts in Dubai from February 22.

As he prepared for his return, Cricket West Indies in a media release Courtney Browne, chairman of selectors announced last week that Russell was one of the four players alongside Trinidad & Tobago trio Sunil Narine, Darren Bravo and Kieron Pollard that decided to skip the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers as it will run parallel to the PSL.

Russell was recently seen practicing for his upcoming match for Jamaica Scorpions. Chris Gayle posted a video of himself along with fellow Jamaican Russell hitting the nets.

However, When CWI reached him, Russell made the selectors aware that he was still keen to play for WI in the ODI and T20 formats. Even before he was banned, Russell was playing T20 cricket for West Indies.

©Cricket Australia/Getty Images

According to Grave, Russell told the selectors not long ago that since he was returning after over a year, he was confident of making himself available for the Qualifiers, which has the highest significance for West Indies.

Post the PSL, the Jamaica big-hitter would be flying to India for the IPL, which is set for an April 7 beginning. Andre Russell has been an instrumental performer for Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League.

He is then likely to be part of the West Indies A squad to face England A for one-day matches. Based on his performances, the selectors might consider him for selection for the home ODI series against Bangladesh in the coming summer.  After being disallowed to participate in competitive cricket, he missed out on the Pakistan Super League (PSL) as well as the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2017.

Whereabouts are information provided by a limited number of top elite athletes about their location to the International Sports Federation (IF) or National Anti-Doping Organization (NADO) that included them in their respective registered testing pool as part of these top elite athletes’ anti-doping responsibilities.

– by James Kuanal