LONDON (Reuters) – Off-spinner Sunil Narine has replaced Kemar Roach in the West Indies side currently touring England after the fast bowler returned home to Barbados yesterday because of shin muscle soreness.
Narine, 24, has played eight one-day and two Twenty20 Internationals but has yet to play in a Test match. He has just finished competing in the Indian Premier League where he took 24 wickets in six matches for the winners Kolkata Knight Riders.
West Indies play England in the third Test in Birmingham, starting on June 7 after losing the first two matches. They then play three One-Day Internationals and a Twenty20 match.
Roach, who took six wickets in the first Test and two at Trent Bridge, is the second member of the West Indies pace attack to return home after Trinidadian fast bowler Shannon Gabriel suffered a back injury on his debut at Lord’s.
Meanwhile, West Indies head coach Ottis Gibson has lamented the loss of Roach for the rest of the England series but said he expects the rest of the pace department to fill the vacuum.
“We still have an awful lot of cricket to play this year and we did not want to risk losing as valuable a player as Kemar for a long period,” said Gibson.
“He has been outstanding with the ball for us so far this year and we are all gutted by his departure.
“Kemar made a lot of improvements after enduring a tough time last year and gave us some world-class performances during the Digicel 2012 Series against Australia and here in England.”
Gibson said he now expected fiery Barbadian Tino Best, who replaced Gabriel, to play a significant role on the remainder of the English campaign.
“We believe that a very excited Tino and a fit-again Fidel (Edwards) will be able to provide us with the spark that we will miss from Roach’s absence,” Gibson said.
“We still have an awful lot for which to play in the final Test, and Tino and Fidel can give us the cutting edge to our bowling if they play.”
Best arrived ahead of the second Test at Trent Bridge and is now expected to play his first game of the series in the two-day fixture against Leicestershire at the weekend.
Edwards played in the first Test but missed the second.