New Delhi: IPL champions Kolkata Knight Riders are likely to be without their star performer Sunil Narine in the upcoming Champions League as the Trinidad & Tobago sports minister wants the spinner to be included in the national team along with Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo.
Narine, in his maiden appearance in the fifth edition of the Indian Premier League, played an important role for KKR and was also adjudged the player-of-the-tournament for his superlative effort.
Pollard, on the other hand, has been indispensable for the Mumbai Indians, who won the previous edition of the Champions League Twenty20 trophy, while Darren Bravo represented MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings in the last edition of the multi-nation tournament.
T&T minister of sports, Anil Roberts, has said an agreement had been reached with the trio to turn out for their national team and not for their IPL franchise. The minister informed that the players were close to signing an MoU following which the details of the individual contracts would be worked out.
"All three players have said they want to play for Trinidad & Tobago. The government of Trinidad & Tobago have said they will match their fees, so that they will not lose anything," Roberts was quoted as saying to the Trinidad Express.
"We want the best team. Some of the Indian teams, the owners are obviously a bit upset because they would love to have Sunil Narine, Pollard and Bravo but I told them quite upfront that we are being professional, that we are not holding anything in secret.
"We are not going to wait until the last minute and then steal the players from under them," he added.
Considering the loss it may cause to the franchisees, Roberts said he has explained them the government's views on the issue.
"I explained to them, because some of them are quite upset...I said, 'please for a moment, just picture Mahendra Singh Dhoni or Sachin Tendulkar or (Suresh) Raina deciding or contemplating to play for a club ahead of India. I don't think that would even be a choice. I don't think they would even be able to set foot in their land of their birth if ever they even consider disappointing their countrymen and their country by playing for club for money'.
"So while they may be upset, I tell them I am very sorry they are upset, but the (T&T) population wants our best players, the government wants our best players. The players want to play for Trinidad & Tobago and they will play for Trinidad & Tobago," Roberts said.
Meanwhile, the KKR team director, Joy Bhattacharya wrote on his Twitter page that the franchise's chief executive, Venky Mysore, has indicated that Narine would play for his IPL franchise.
CLT20 rules allow players to pick the team they wish to play for and in the past players had chosen their franchises, which then compensated the players' home teams.