Andre Russell: 'I want to win another World Cup for West Indies'
Andre Russell said he still wants to play for the West Indies, said coach Phil Simmons is "throwing me under the bus".
Andre Russell has declared his ambitions to play for the West Indies again, stating he wants to win "another World Cup" with the men in maroon.
Russell said he holds the desire to win the T20 World Cup later in the year in Australia even as question marks linger over his future in international cricket.
The allrounder most recently turned out for the West Indies at the T20 World Cup in UAE last November and has been plying his trade in different leagues since.
Russell's commitment to play for the Calypso Kings was under scrutiny last week when head coach Phil Simmons said he can't be "begging" him and other West Indies stars to play for the team.
In an interesting response, Russell took to Instagram with a screengrab of an ESPNcricinfo piece featuring Simmons' quotes in the title and captioned: "I know this was coming but am gonna stay quiet!!!" He has since deleted his angry post, but that was a statement suggestive of dismay at Simmons' remarks.
Andre Russell indirectly suggested there is more to the issue than what meets the eye and that Simmons and the selectors haven't been communicating with the players busy on domestic league duties.
"They have to respect my terms as well" - Andre Russell
The explosive hitter is currently in England, playing The Hundred for Manchester Originals. He was asked about his case in the West Indies circuit by former skipper Darren Sammy in an interview for Sky Sports.
Andre Russell indicated he had a discussion with Simmons about his plans along the lines of his West Indies comeback ahead of the T20 World Cup in Australia. But the coach is now "throwing him under the bus" following series losses to India and New Zealand at home.
"I'm going to be quiet," Russell said in an initial response. "Because at the end of the day, we had a discussion, and the discussion was very clear. So now, making me look bad, throwing me under the bus… I was expecting it. I'm going to stay quiet, Daren, to be honest."
When asked to clarify whether he still wants to play for the West Indies, Russell said: "Of course, of course. The maroon is all over. Honestly, I have two franchise hundreds and I wish those hundreds were actually playing for West Indies. I don't regret saying this just now. I really enjoyed playing for Jamaica Tallawahs but those two hundreds, it would be more special coming in international cricket."
Andre Russell defended his stance of featuring in various leagues at a time when West Indies are struggling and finding it a challenge to identify their best playing XI ahead of the Australian World Cup.
Russell once again suggested there was a plan in place around his participation and the team management is now backtracking on it. The cricketer said the selectors and the management must "respect my terms", too, as he has one playing career to maximise his earning potential and support his family.
"I always want to play and give back. But at the end of the day, if we are not agreeing on certain terms, you terms is my terms [sic], and they have to respect my terms as well. At the end of the day, it is what it is. We have families and we have to make sure that we give our best opportunity while we have one career."
"It's not like I can start over again. I'm 34 and I want to win another World Cup - or two more - for West Indies because at the end of the day, I'm here now, and I'm just taking it day by day," he added.