All-rounder Andre Russell, who played in only one ODI since 2015, said he is “hungry” to represent West Indies at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, beginning May 30.
“I’m so hungry now to represent the West Indies. The last time I joined the West Indies team was recently when I had taken two injections to better my knee and it flared up again. I was so upset. I was watching the game against England and couldn’t do anything about it,” ICC quoted Russell, as saying.
“But as I said, I’m so hungry right now to play for West Indies like I’m doing here (in the Indian Premier League), hit sixes and score centuries,” he said.
The 30-year-old has been in destructive form for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and scored 406 runs in 11 games at a strike rate of 209.27 so far.
“I wasn’t surprised that I was called to the World Cup squad. I’ve been doing well, I’ve been back and forth with the selectors and the coaches back home. I know once I’m doing my work here and performing, it will lead to national duties. I wasn’t focused on the World Cup. I was just making sure that whatever happened here, I was doing my best,” Russell said while admitting his performances in IPL have helped him earn his spot in West Indies ODI squad.
The Jamaican-born has been in and out of his national team due to prolonged injuries and a year-long ban over violation of the doping code in 2017. Russell was recalled earlier this year for the final games of the five-match series against England which ended in a draw. However, a knee injury ruled him out of the series and the T20 leg.
West Indies will have a final dress rehearsal in a tri-nation series against Ireland and Bangladesh before the World Cup. Although Russell has not been named in the squad, will continue to compete in the IPL and join the Caribbean side for the 50-over World Cup, scheduled to be hosted in England and Wales.
The Jason Holder-led side will play against South Africa and New Zealand in the warm-ups before taking on Pakistan in the marquee event on May 31 at Trent Bridge.