Sunil Narine returned home to Trinidad from India earlier this week and before he got a chance to unpack his bags, he was told to pack them again.
Fresh from an amazing Player-of-the-Tournament performance in the IPL, the magical off-spin bowler was called up to the West Indies Test tour of England as a replacement for the injured Kemar Roach.
Narine said it “felt like a dream” because it was something he was not expecting. “It all feels like a dream,” he said. “I wasn’t expecting this at all. I came back home and I was starting to look ahead to the limited-overs series (in England).
“When I got the call for the Test series…words can’t explain how I felt at that moment. The dream was always to play Test cricket and I'm halfway there.”
Narine said he was ready to perform for the people of the West Indies. “I’m looking forward to joining the team this weekend and being part of the good work that is happening in West Indies cricket at the moment,” he said.
“I’m always looking to watch, listen and learn. I would like to play in the last Test and try to help West Indies pull one back, but even if I don’t, I won’t be too despondent.
“We have the One-day Internationals and a Twenty20 International coming up, and if I’m in the squad for those games, the time in England would help me get fully prepared for the upcoming matches.”
Narine has limited experience in English conditions, having played there just once as a part of the Trinidad and Tobago Under-16 team. “I have not played a lot in England, so it will be vital that I get acclimatised as quickly as possible,” he said.
“I did well in the West Indies and I did well in India, but the pitches and conditions in England are different, so as a bowler you have to take your time to get ready and prepared. “I don’t want to get ahead of myself and make any predictions. I just want to prepare well, mentally and physically, and give my all for West Indies.”
The 24-year-old made his West Indies debut late last year in India and has so far played eight One-Day Internationals and two T20 Internationals, while he has captured 34 wickets at 11.88 apiece in six first-class matches.