The West Indian all-rounder Andre Russell will not be able to play cricket for the next twelve months. He has been a major part of several T20 leagues all around the world, even he played a crucial role in the winning campaign of those teams. Russell didn’t appear in his anti-doping trials.
The 28-year-old was summoned thrice by the panel and he failed to mention about his whereabouts on all of those occasions. The third hearing was at Kingston, Jamaica on 31 January, the panel handed him one-year ban as he was not present for the third straight time. This means he cannot play any form of Cricket from 31 January 2017 to 30 January 2018.
The Director of Cricket and List Manager of Sydney Thunders, Michael Hussey, feels that it is practically impossible to replace the all-rounder in the squad. He said “We’ll see what happens with the appeal process. If he appeals were still clinging to that hope (of retaining him). We would hate to lose him because he is been a cult hero for us in the past couple of years. He is loved by the players, he is loved by the whole franchise and certainly loved by the fans as well.”
Jamaica lad was part of the Thunder team which won the Big Bash in last season but missed several matches for his team in this season due to a leg injury. “If we do lose him you can’t replace him. He is just incredible. We'll have to sit down and see what is out there and then try and make the best decision for the franchise from there,” Hussey added.
The former Aussie player told to cricket.com.au “I’m devastated for him to be honest. It’s really sad. I don’t know what they (Russell’s team) are going to do if they are going to try to appeal it. I think they’ve got two and a half weeks if they want to appeal that decision. I feel really sad for him. He is been through a really tough time.”
“It’s just really sad because he is right at the prime of his career right now. I know he's got an injury at the moment but he is arguably the most devastating T20 player in the world and were not going to be able to see him for a whole year. It will be interesting to see how he comes back from this, how he deals with it both physically, mentally and with his cricket. He is a tough guy and a tough character so I’m sure this whole experience will make him stronger and make him a better player and a better person in the future,” Mr. Cricket concluded.