Tallawahs CEO confident Russell will be back for 2021 CPL season

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Andre Russell goes through his warm-up sprints during team training (Peter Della Penna)

Jamaica Tallawahs CEO Jeff Miller believes Andre Russell will be back with the team for the 2021 season of the Hero CPL, despite the latter’s outburst earlier this year that this would be his last season with the team.

In a recent interview on Sportsnation Live on Nationwide Radio in Kingston, Miller spoke highly of Russell and expressed optimism about Dre Russ’ return next season.

“Andre is a team player. I can’t say more about the support he has given us. He has been a tremendous voice in the dressing room; he has been a mentor to Rovman Powell (JT team captain). He has been involved in our discussions and I would anticipate that Mr Russell will be back next year.”

Miller’s confidence belies the outburst from the former Tallawahs captain in April when in a rant on an Instagram Live, he declared that he would not return to the team after the just-concluded season.

Russell’s outburst was made in the wake of former teammate Chris Gayle announcing that he would not be playing for the Tallawahs for the 2020 season.

In that rant, Russell revealed that he only heard about Chris Gayle’s departure from the team when Gayle sent him a copy of a report in the Jamaica Gleaner that suggested that the self-proclaimed Universe Boss was not going to be retained by the two-time CPL champions and that there were going to changes to the coaching staff.

That information, when combined with statements from Marlon Samuels that suggested that Russell knew about Gayle’s departure and that Gayle’s subsequent comments, gave the impression that he knew what was going on behind the scenes.

The perception infuriated Russell, who took to social media to clear the air.

“I have another year’s contract with the Tallawahs and I am going to play and try and win because that is all I play for, but this will be my last because I have been getting mixed up with all these (expletive) that is happening and I can’t be playing cricket and I am not comfortable,” he said.

“And I think another franchise that has been coming last and fifth and fourth in CPL will appreciate me more. I am not getting it here.”

Russell was among the few standout players for the Jamaica Tallawahs in the recently concluded season of the Hero CPL, scoring 222 runs at an average of 44.40 and at a healthy strike rate of 141.40. He scored three 50s.

However, the Tallawahs only won three of their 11 games in the competition. They were eliminated in the semi-finals by eventual champions, the Trinbago Knight Riders. (Sportsmax)