18 Facts about Sunil Narine – The ball charmer from West Indies

Sunil Narine
West Indies cricketer Sunil Narine. (Photo by Ishara S.KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

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Sunil Narine is a big exception to the elite class of bowlers that the West Indies cricket has produced in the history of the game. The Caribbean islands are known as the breeding ground of tall pacers who play the sweet chin music for the batsman. Here comes the exception in Sunil Narine, a relatively short-statured guy who troubles the batsmen not with his pace, but his vicious mystery spinners. You might claim to know enough about the man, but here are some interesting facts about him that you must know:

1. Roots and beginnings:

Sunil Narine was born on 26 May 1988 at Arima in Trinidad and Tobago. He was born into a Roman catholic family. He started playing cricket at an early age of seven.

2. Named after a legend:

His father named him Sunil after the legendary Indian batsman Sunil Gavaskar. It was his father, Shaheed, who spotted the interest of his son in the game of cricket and took him to Queens Park Savannah every day.

3. Friend effect:

When at school, Sunil Narine was Kevon Cooper’s best friend. While Cooper was a football lover, Sunil loved cricket. It was due to Sunil’s interest that even Cooper started playing cricket and this is when he started developing a keen interest in the sport.

4. Spotting of a new talent:

Sunil first made a major stride to cricket in 2005 when he started playing in the U19 level. Bernard Julien, Sammy Guillen and Roland Sampath were the three coaches who spotted the mystery spinner.

5. Scores a perfect 10!:

Narine’s claim to fame came in 2009 when he picked up all 10 wickets in an innings during a trial match in 2009. He ended with figures of 10/55 in the match. Subsequently, he was picked up in the Trinidad & Tobago squad following his efforts.

6. The balls in his repertoire:

Narine has the potential to bowl six different deliveries in an over. However, his chief wreckers are his carrom balls, knuckle pushes and the skidders that move either ways.

7. Shines at the List A debut:

He made his List A debut in the Regional Super 50 in 2011 for Trinidad and Tobago. The team won the tournament and he was the leading wicket taker with 15 wickets to his name. The next best was 10 wickets by Nikita Miller.

8. Follows it up with another:

In the year that followed, he again emerged as the leading wicket-taker for his side in the domestic tournament, picking as many as 31 wickets at an average of 9.61.

9. Hits the big stage:

He was a part of Trinidad & Tobago team that won the Caribbean T20 in 2011. The win saw them qualify for the 3rd edition of Champions League T20. This was his first meet with the big audiences. He emerged as the 2nd leading wicket-taker in the tournament. He bagged 10 wickets at an average of 10.5 and an impressive economy of just 4.37.

10. Gets the big man on debut:

Interestingly, when Narine made his ODI debut at Ahmedabad against India in 2011, he bagged the prized wicket of Virat Kohli on debut. He trapped Kohli lbw on 20 in the match where he finished with figures of 2/34. R Ashwin was the other wicket he scalped.

11. Rewards for the emerging star:

He was named as ICC’s Emerging cricketer of the year in the year 2012. He was also awarded West Indies’ List-A player of the year and T20 cricketer of the year, in the same calendar year.

12. Matthew Wade’s the bunny:

In the ODIs against Australia, Sunil Narine dismissed Matthew Wade three times in 20 balls conceding only 2 runs, average 0.66, run rate 0.6 per over.

13. The hype of the IPL:

Much of the hype generated about his mysterious talent was due to his signing in the Indian Premier League. He was signed by the Kolkata Knight Riders in the 2012 edition of the IPL for USD 700,000. He justified every penny of his auction price and bagged 24 wickets in the season and was awarded the Player of the Tournament as Kolkata Knight Riders lifted the trophy. He had the economy of 5.47 in the tournament.

14. Bags the Golden Wicket:

In the 2014 Champions League T20, his herculean efforts saw Kolkata Knight Riders reach the finals of the tournament. Although they lost to Chennai Superkings in the finals, Narine emerged as the leading wicket-taker and was awarded the Golden Wicket for his tally of 12 wickets.

15. Ties the knot:

Sunil Narine got married to Nandita Kumar in an Indian style wedding in the year 2013.

16. The lucky charm:

Although Narine calls himself as a not so pious cricketer, he wears a metal band with his name engraved on it. He considers it to be his lucky charm.

17. A fan of Shades:

Sunil ensures he always as a few sunglasses in his bags. As admitted by himself, he is quite obsessed with his love for the shades.

18. Major Teams:

West Indies, Barisal Burners, Cape Cobras,Guyana Amazon Warriors, Kolkata Knight Riders,Trinidad & Tobago, West Indies Under-19s.