'There is no regret'

Russell stands by gamble to play at World Cup despite knee concerns

Sanjay Myers
Sport Reporter
@ ICC Cricket World Cup
In England & Wales

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

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MANCHESTER, England — West Indies cricket star Andre Russell says he has no regret, despite his troublesome knees ruling him out of the rest of the ICC World Cup.

Russell, hampered by knee discomfort, had limited roles playing in four of West Indies' six games, and the team has struggled, winning only once, and are virtually eliminated from the tournament with three preliminary games left.

The 31-year-old Jamaican all-rounder is scheduled to undergo surgery on his left knee here in England today, and has indicated there is a likelihood he will operate on the right one in the future.

“There is no regret,” he said regarding the gamble to take part in the tournament.

“I knew it was going to be tough for me. I knew it was going to be challenging because I knew I had this knee problem that has been worrying me for the last couple of years,” he told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.

Russell, replaced by Windward Islands batsman Sunil Ambris, 26, said he hopes the team can finish the World Cup on a positive note, after all the disappointment throughout most of the opening six games.

“I hope they go well. Right now I just hope the guys can finish strong. I know it's tight for us but I want us to play for pride and to represent the maroon and represent the badge as strongly as possible,” the big-hitting batsman said.

He conceded he was in some distress while capturing two wickets in the team's opening game — a seven-wicket victory over Pakistan late last month.

“It was always going to be a challenge coming here, especially in the colder conditions. You have to be tough; everything in this cricket is tough, and so we as players have to be tough as well.

“I made the sacrifice to fight and to push through the pain because I was feeling it in my knee from the first game against Pakistan. but this is the World Cup, and in my head I knew people were expecting a lot from Andre Russell,” he explained.

He said he went as far as having his personal physiotherapist make the trip to England to extend his longevity at the tournament.

“Like every spell [I bowled] I kept coming off the field to ice my knee and get other treatment. I even got my physio to come to England just to give me that extra support — but these are sacrifices I made to be in the World Cup and to push the West Indies as far as I could. Unfortunately, I had to pull out, but God knows best,” Russell told the Observer.

He added: “I know, just like a Chris Gayle, the impact I have in the changing room, so I try to share my experience to players I know who need that little assistance. In the team there will be players who will want to pick my brain to see what my mindset is and how I go about my game.

“I know me being in the team how important it was, so I made the sacrifice to fight through. Even the last game I played against Bangladesh, every ball I bowled I could feel the pain and stiffness and I did everything I had to do to make sure I stayed out there.”

The West Indies next face India, one of the tournament favourites, at Old Trafford on Thursday. Their other two games are against Sri Lanka at Chester-le-Street on July 1, and Afghanistan at Headingley on July 4.

West Indies squad: Jason Holder (captain), Christopher Gayle, Shai Hope, Evin Lewis, Carlos Brathwaite, Sheldon Cottrell, Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Ashley Nurse, Nicholas Pooran, Kemar Roach, Sunil Ambris, Oshane Thomas, Fabian Allen, Darren Bravo.

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