Toss: West Indies won the toss and chose to field first.
Venue: Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Umpires: Aleem Dar & Langton Rusere
What Actually Happened
Winner: Sri Lanka won by 20 runs
Scores: Sri Lanka 189/3West Indies 169/8
Player of the Match:Charith Asalanka 68 (41)
Andre Russell (4-0-33-2)
Wanindu Hasaranga (4-0-19-2)
Charith Asalanka 68 (44)
Shimron Hetmyer 81* (54)
Moments of The Day: Sri Lanka Batted Better, Fielded Better, Bowled Better
Everyone from Sri Lanka contributed today. Kusal Perera 29 (21) & Pathum Nissanka 51 (41) gave them yet another bright start, but it was Asalanka’a clinical timing and Shanaka’s finishing 25* (14) that gave SL an above-par sore.
In every one of these quick summaries, we have mentioned Hasaranga. Sometimes he has contributed with the bat, sometimes with the ball, and sometimes both. Oh and the fielding is pretty good as well. Here is how he fared in the tournament, definitely a player of the tournament contender:
71 & 1/12
6 & 0/29
4 & 2/22
4 & 3/20
34 & 3/21
In a must win crunch game, 8 out of the 10 West Indian batters, most of them legends, scored in the single digits. Only the young guns, Nicholas Pooran (age 26) scored 46 (34) and Shimron Hetmyer (age 24) made sure West Indies at least competed. Hetmyer did not give up till the very end, bringing the target down to 35 in 6 balls.
Honorable Mention: Rajapaksa’s diving catch to dismiss Roston Chase & Karunatne’s running catch to dismiss Holder were outstanding
Broken Cricket Dream of the Day: The Sun Sets For the Legends
Darren Sammy had repeatedly set on air that these group of West Indian players were aware that this tournament would define their legacies, especially Chris Gayle & Dwayne Bravo. However, Gayle went out for 1 & Bravo for 2 (and only one wicket at an economy rate of 10.50). Bravo is officially retiring from international duty after this World Cup and one can only assume the same with Chris Gayle.
Pollard is still staying although his captaincy status depends on the board. With Pooran, Hetmyer, & Holder (only 29 years old), the leadership group for the next generation is there but rebuilding needs to start now.
In any case, thank you Legends. We love you for all you have given this sport. They have defined the T20 format and made it their own.
West Indies Vs Bangladesh Quick Review — Nicholas Pooran’s quickfire 40, Jason Holder’s all-round package (and height), and Andre Russell’s death bowling ensured West Indies do not go out without a fight, unlike Bangladesh.
Toss: Bangladesh won the toss and chose to field first.
Venue: Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah, UAE
Umpires: Adrian Holdstock & Rod Tucker
What Actually Happened
Winner: West Indies won by 3 runs
Scores: West Indies 142/7 – Bangladesh 139/5
Player of the Match: Nicholas Pooran 40 (22)
Shoriful Islam (4-0-20-2), Mahedi Hasan (4-0-20-2)
Jason Holder (4-0-22-1)
Nicholas Pooran 40 (22)
Liton Das 44 (43)
Moments of The Day: Jason Holder’s Selection Inspires Dispirited West Indies
After 12.4 overs, West Indies were going nowhere at 62/4 and Roston Chase replicating Simmons’ role from their previous game. Then came in Nicholas Pooran, a man with more ducks this year than any decent size lake. Today he repaid the faith to the West Indies selectors for keeping faith in him and scored a game changing 40 with 4 sixes. When Harsha Bhogle asked what was the difference between his ball striking and the rest struggling, he said, “That is just my talent.”
Jason Holder, who replaced injured Obed McCoy, was my player of the game today. 15* (5) including 2 sixes at the end, an opening spell of 4-0-22-1, and 2 catches – including Liton Das’ catch (that only a man of his height could have caught). Why wasn’t he selected in the original squad again?
Liton Das finally found some runs and steadied the innings with 44 (43), but captain Mahmudullah took it up another notch. He scored a quickfire 31* (24) before Russell defended 12 runs in the final over.
Broken Cricket Dream of the Day: Shakib Al Hasan Injured, Pollard Goes Off, Bangladesh Almost Out
This match had more comedy of errors than actual cricket. Not one broken dream, but four or five. Here they are:
One of the more curious moments of this game was when Kieron Pollard went out when he was struggling at 8 (16) Some people prematurely declared it as a ‘retired out.’ However, it looked like the heat got to Pollard and he had ‘retired ill.’ Fortunately for the Windies, he came back just in time and hit the last ball to the fence. As it turned out those six runs proved to be extra crucial in the context of the match.
The next ball, Russell was run-out at the non-striker’s catch without facing a ball.
My Broken Cricket Dream of the day was the abysmal quality of fielding. Both sides dropped easy chances and missed stumping cost Bangladesh as well. Bangladesh could have 2 wins out of 3 in the Super 12s, but due to their fielding, they are 0 out of 0.
Shakib Al Hasan might have suffered a hamstring injury but he bowled through the pain. He was sent as a pinch hitter to fully optimize his stay. However, he had middling returns today. Bangladesh are almost out of the tournament, but Shakib’s injury makes situations even worse.
Caribbean Premier League (CPL 2021)—The party is back in town once again!
The West Indies have just finished a marathon 14 game home T20I season against South Africa, Australia, and Pakistan.
It is now time for the domestic West Indies T20 league and for fringe players to make their cases. In the first 3 days of CPL 2021, we have had so many great moments—Dre Russ’s 14-ball 50, TKR already losing a game, Faf’s comeback from concussion, Sherfane Rutherford’s magnificent form, Tims (David & Seifert) having breakout seasons, and experienced Amir-Udana-Rampaul-Tahir topping the bowling charts so far. If you haven’t been watching, this is time to switch your TVs back on, especially with the T20 World Cup approaching soon.
Here is everything you need to know about CPL 2021.
Barbados Tridents & Saint Lucia Zouks no more, we now have Barbados Royals (from Rajasthan Royals) & Saint Lucia Kings (from Punjab Kings).
The Indian Premier League is slowly taking over the world.
*Teams highlighted in their respective jersey colors
Trinbago Knight Riders
West Indies Internationals: Kieron Pollard (C), Darren Bravo, Lendl Simmons, Sunil Narine, Denesh Ramdin (WK), Ravi Rampaul, Jayden Seales, Akeal Hosein, Khary Pierre, Anderson Phillip
West Indies Domestic: Leonardo Julien (WK), Tion Webster
Foreign Recruits: Ali Khan (USA), Colin Munro, Tim Seifert (NZ), Isuru Udana (SL), Yasir Shah (Pakistan)
Coaching Staff: Imran Jan
I am looking forward to the New Zealand duo Munro & Seifert along with the fast bowling trio – experienced Rampaul, promising Seales, & energetic Ali Khan.
Trinbago Knight Riders Expected XI:
Lendl Simmons, 2. Tim Seifert, 3. Colin Munro, 4. Darren Bravo, 5. Kieron Pollard, 6. Sunil Narine, 7. Denesh Ramdin, 8. Ravi Rampaul/Isuru Udana, 9. Jayden Seales, 10. Ali Khan, 11. Akeal Hosein
West Indies Internationals: Jason Holder (C), Johnson Charles (WK), Shai Hope (WK), Kyle Mayers, Ashley Nurse, Raymon Reifer, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr.
West Indies Domestic: Joshua Bishop, Justin Greaves, Nyeem Young
Foreign Recruits: Azam Khan – WK, Mohammad Amir (Pakistan), Jake Lintott (England), Smit Patel – WK (USA/ former India), Thisara Perera (Sri Lanka), Glenn Phillips – WK (New Zealand)
Coaching Staff: Trevor Penney
I am lookingforward to theforeign contingent. Jake Lintott had a successful Hundred season, Glenn Phillips & Azam Khan are power hitters, while Perera & Amir have reputation and experience on their side.
West Indies Internationals: Roston Chase, Rahkeem Cornwall, Andre Fletcher, Alzarri Joseph, Obed McCoy, Keemo Paul, Kesrick Williams
West Indies Domestic: Kadeem Alleyne, Keron Cottoy, Mark Deyal, Javelle Glen, Jeavor Royal
Foreign Recruits: Faf du Plessis – C (South Africa), Tim David (Singapore), Samit Patel (England), Usman Qadir, Wahab Riaz (Pakistan)
Coaching Staff: Andy Flower
I am looking forward to the West Indies internationals. Roston Chase, Cornwall, Kesrick Williams, Paul are not in the current T20I plan for the West Indies and Joseph, McCoy, and Paul are still on the fringes. This CPL season will show who gets in and who does not to the T20 World Cup squad. Also hope that Faf du Plessis has recovered from the concussion.
Saint Lucia Kings Expected XI:
Faf du Plessis, 2. Andre Fletcher, 3. Rahkeem Cornwall, 4. Roston Chase, 5. Tim David, 6. Samit Patel, 7. Keemo Paul, 8. Kesrick Williams, 9. Usman Qadir/Wahab Riaz, 10. Obed McCoy, 11. Alzarri Joseph
St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots
West Indies Internationals: Dwayne Bravo (C), Fabian Allen, Sheldon Cottrell, Joshua Da Silva (WK), Rayad Emrit, Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Sherfane Rutherford, Devon Thomas
West Indies Domestic: Colin Archibald, Dominic Drakes, Jon-Russ Jaggesar, Mikyle Louis
Foreign Recruits: Asif Ali (Pakistan), Ravi Bopara (England), Fawad Ahmed (Australia), Paul van Meekeren
Coaching Staff: Simon Helmot
I am looking forward to Evin Lewis & Fabian Allen. They have been the two standout performers in the last three home T20I series. Can they continue their good form?
St. Kitts & Patriots Expected XI:
Devon Thomas, 2. Evin Lewis, 3. Chris Gayle, 4. Sherfane Rutherford, 5. Ravi Bopara, 6. Asif Ali, 7. Joshua Da Silva, 8. Dwayne Bravo, 9. Fabian Allen, 10. Fawad Ahmed, 11. Sheldon Cottrell
West Indies Internationals: Rovman Powell (C), Carlos Brathwaite, Andre Russell, Shamarh Brooks, Fidel Edwards, Jason Mohmammed, Veerasammy Permaul, Chadwick Walton (WK)
Foreign Recruits: Haider Ali (Pakistan), Ryan Persaud (USA), Migael Pretorius (South Africa), Qais Ahmad (Afghanistan)
Coaching Staff: Floyd Reifer
I am looking forward to the star-studded lower middle order—Powell, Brathwaite, and Russell. 255/5 in their opening game already shows the potential of this team.
Jamaica Tallawahs Expected XI:
Chadwick Walton (WK), 2. Kennar Lewis, 3. Haider Ali, 4. Shamarh Brooks, 5. Rovmann Powell, 6. Andre russell, 7. Carlos Brathwaite, 8. Chris Green, 9. Veerasammy Permaul, 10. Fidel Edwards, 11. Qais Ahmed
Key Match Ups To Watch Out For
Huge CPL season ahead for Andre Fletcher – The Spice Man came back to the West Indies T20I side on a back of a good BBL and Big Bash tournament. However, his form in the international arena dropped off. Johnson Charles & Brandon King are contenders for the reserve opener spot if Fletcher does not have a good show here.
Warriors show glimpse of West Indies’ future – Brandon King, Pooran, Hetmyer, Romario Shepherd, Kevin Sinclair may form the core of a future West Indies team without Gayle, Pollard, or Bravo.
Can Trinbago Knight Riders do it again? Last season TKR won 12 games on a trot to dominate CPL 2020. With a similar composition of their squad, can they make it 5 trophies?
Caribbean Premier League 2021 Predictions
Finally here are my predictions.
My prediction for the team to lift the CPL 2021 trophy is….Jamaica Tallawahs with the Top 4 of Guyana Amazon Warriors, St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots, and Trinbago Knight Riders.
Most Runs: Evin Lewis
Most Wickets: Obed McCoy
Emerging Player: Rohail Nazir
Surprise Package: Tim David/Jake Lintott
Broken Cricket Dream: Final CPL edition for Shoaib Malik?
Here were my Caribbean Premier League – CPL 2021 Predictions. What did you think? What are YOUR predictions? Comment Below!
Time for the West Indies T20 World Cup Squad, a team everyone has a time for. Last week, we analyzed 2016 World T20 finalists, England & their potential 44 players vying for the 23-men T20 World Cup squad. Today we look at their counterparts at the final who lifted the trophy.
In the last two decades, there was an impression that West Indies cricket was dying. Reminiscing at the 1908s generation was fans’ favorite pastime. Well, guess what?
I believe the 2000s T20 generation will be looked just as fondly as the 2-time 50 over winning generation or even more if they complete their hat-trick of T20 World Cup victories this time around (2012, 2016, 2021?)
West Indies T20 World Cup Squad – Player By Player Analysis
In order to pick the destructive West IndiesT20 World Cup Squad, we specifically pay attention to the Average + Strike Rate score for the batters along with the Economy Rate for the bowlers. A Lendl Simmons (high average, decent strike rate) is just as important as an Andre Russell (decent average, high strike rate) to this squad.
Incumbent: Currently in West Indies’ T20I XI
Reserve: May have played for West Indies in the last two years but does not make their first XI
Out of Squad: Might have represented West Indies earlier or about to breakthrough, but have not been in the West Indies squad in the last couple of T20I series.
🟩 Plays the first match in the T20 World Cup (17 October-14 November)
🟨 Boards the plane to UAE but might not get a look-into the XI
🟧 Wildcard Entry: Not in the current scheme of things but a good performance in the CPL (26 August-15 September) or IPL (19 September-15 October), and they might be back in the conversation.
🟥 Most likely not going to make it, but in COVID-19 World, anything is possible. They are next in the pecking order in case something out of the blue happens.
Over the past year, at the end of every series, we did a “World T20 World Cup Watch,” where a 23-men squad was chosen after latest performance. You can check them below.
The Spiceman Andre Fletcher received the well-deserved call-up to the Windies side on the back of his T20 league exploits. However, he has looked out of touch in the last three series (poor run – 9, 4, 6, 12, 0, 14*, 17*). The 17* with 2 sixes in the first over in the rain truncated game against Pakistan might have just saved his spot
Last Played T20I For West Indies:November 29, 2020
Will he play the IPL?No.
CPL Team: Guyana Amazon Warriors
King rose to a West Indies cap on the back of a brilliant run in the 2019 CPL (most runs scored – 496 runs), helping Guyana qualify for the final. However, he has yet to light international cricket on fire.
Last Played T20I For West Indies:September 26, 2016
Will he play the IPL?No.
CPL Team: Barbados Royals
Provided the starts for WI in the 2016 T20 World Cup, but has been out of the international arena since. 3rd highest run-scorer in CPL 2019 after Brandon King & Lendl Simmons, he is also third in the running for the reserve opener after King & Simmons.
4 decades, 2 World Cups, 42 international hundreds, 22 T20 tons, best of 117 175*, 215, 333 across formats, 14000 T20 runs. The Boss. Universe Boss. Doubt him at your own peril. In his own words, “Soon to 42. You guys should be happy to see Chris Gayle still on the field. Just respect the Universe Boss and let him have some fun.”
Since his coming of age in the 2019 Cricket World Cup, Pooran has underwhelmed Since IPL 2021, he has endured several run-outs, ducks of all kind, and has been unable to finish matches. Pollard & team management back their vice-captain, and he is just beginning to come back to form. Hope he is peaking at the right time. Should definitely make the XI on pedigree. You can read his inspirational story of pain & hope here.
Replicating Brian Lara’s technique, unfortunately Darren Bravo has not been able to replicate his international career, apart from a few important overseas centuries. Much improved T20 player, where does he bat with Gayle at #3? He batted at #8 in his last WI outing…
Seen around the world in the PSL, BBL, PSL, and IPL, he is a hot commodity in the T20 circuit. Gun fielder as well, does he make the 23-squad as an X-factor?
West Indies T20 World Cup Squad Verdict – Middle Order
Makes Team:Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran
Out of Team:Darren Bravo, Sherfane Rutherford
It was clearly evident with the #4 experiment involving Simmons, Holder, & Fletcher, West Indies are trying to find a Marlon Samuels-esque insurance policy, especially a right handed middle order (to separate Lewis, Gayle, Pooran, Hetmyer) who is a part-time spinner (for UAE conditions).
The weakest area for the West Indies, most of these players below are highly unlikely to make the World Cup squad.
Will he play the IPL?Yes., IPL Team: Kolkata Knight Riders
CPL Team: Trinbago Knight Riders
He is welcome to the West Indies team if he chooses to/when he regains confidence. His international career has been thwarted by suspect action, but his T20 career has revived due to batting abilities. Great against spin, poor against pace, he has been found out at the IPL. One final flourish? Surely he makes the 23?
Last Played T20I For West Indies:April 2, 2018 (ODI: July 23, 2021)
Will he play the IPL?No.
CPL Team: Jamaica Tallawahs
Mohammed’s career is quite interesting. Debuting in 2011, he has only played 35 ODIs and 9 T20Is. Yet his performances in Regional Super50 competition merited his comeback to the extent that he even captained the West Indies as late as December 2020 in the ODI series against Bangladesh. Senior player, off-spinner – looks like Samuels on paper, but not enough international performances.
Last Played T20I For West Indies:Yet to Play (Test: June 20, 2021)
Will he play the IPL?No.
CPL Team: Saint Lucia Kings
Senior play in Tests and until recently in Jason Holder’s ‘engine room,’ Chase’s form has dropped off since the COVID break. However, he has started to play T20s and will play in the CPL. In UAE conditions, a mature batter & off-spinner like him might be an interesting choice.
29 (14), 8*(8), 19* (13), 14* (9), 34* (12), 21* (6). Fabian Allen has been a revelation as a finisher in the last four series starting from the 3 consecutive sixes against Sri Lanka. Left arm off spinner, West Indies’ best fielder (sorry Hayden), and wonderful celebration, Allen makes it to the XI without a doubt.
West Indies T20 World Cup Squad Verdict – Spinning All-Rounders
Makes Team:Fabian Allen, Sunil Narine, 1 out of Jason Mohammed, Rakheem Cornwall, Roston Chase
Out of Team:2 out of Jason Mohammed, Rakheem Cornwall, Roston Chase
Finishers/Medium Pace All-Rounders
Teams are lucky to have one legend. Apart from Gayle, this section gives 3-4 more legends to the West Indies. Luxury of riches in the fast bowling all-rounder department.
Since his captaincy stint, Pollard has entered his best phase. Taking TKR to an undefeated run to victory in the CPL, he is now a lot more mature in reading the game situation, a characteristic most other WI batters lack. He can hit it out of the ground or soak in the pressure when needed. Brilliant fielder and has the partnership breaking golden arm as well.
Will he play the IPL?Yes.IPL Team: Sunrisers Hyderabad
CPL Team: Barbados Royals
From restarting Test cricket in England post COVID break with a magnificent chase to losing his Test captaincy, he has seen all the ups and downs in the last two years. A couple of knocksunder pressure in IPL 2020, and he found his way back to the T20I side. Blocking Hasaranga in the penultimate over to save Allen was one of his recent highlights although the #4 experiment has failed. Has also had a few good bowling spells. Should make the 23-men squad, but does he make your XI?
Will he play the IPL?Yes.IPL Team: Kolkata Knight Riders
CPL Team: Jamaica Tallawahs
The highest AVE+SR for any WI batter, he will be disappointed with his low average & 50+ scores in T20I. The most destructive finisher & one of the longest hitter of the ball, he makes it to the XI. Death bowling skills is a definite plus. Needs to learn to trust batting partners in the final over and take singles/doubles.
Will he play the IPL?Yes.IPL Team: Chennai Super Kings
CPL Team: St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots
133 T20 wickets more than the next in the list, Imran Tahir, Bravo has conquered all the leagues around the world. Retiring and coming back, it seems that he has finally played his final T20I game at home. Still going strong with a career-best 4/19 against South Africa along with a 47* (34) at #5 against Australia. One final stretch for the great man.
Apart from “Remember the Name” & “Dream is Diminished,” not much of note in between for Carlos. Still possesses the X-factor and is playing in leagues like the Hundred. Since there are plenty of allrounders, the real question is, “Do the selectors remember his name?”
Known for his massive six hitting ability, Powell has been on the West Indies radar for a while, even scoring an ODI 100. He is one of the players on the fringes and this CPL will be an outright audition for him.
Skiddy bowler and useful hitter down the order, he is one of West Indies’ brightest prospects. From the 2016 U-19 World Cup fame, he rose through the ranks, even receiving the 2019 T20 Player of the Year for the West Indies. Can the 23-year old make the squad or is it too soon?
Last Played T20I For West Indies:November 29, 2020
Will he play the IPL?No.
CPL Team: Barbados Royals
A left field choice. From the da Silva-Bonner-Mayers Bangladesh fame, Mayers’ career has only gone up. 210* on debut second innings chase, he has also forced his way to the second string ODI squad. A good show with the ball in the Test against South Africa, and now you have a good all-round package. Will probably not make this squad but good to have him as cover.
West Indies T20 World Cup Squad Verdict – Medium Pace All-Rounders/Finishers
Makes Team: Kieron Pollard, Jason Holder, Andre Russell, Dwayne Bravo, Rovman Powell, Keemo Paul
Out of Team: Carlos Brathwaite, Kyle Mayers
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McCoy has overtaken him in the pecking order, but still remains effective. Salute celebration, good fielding abilities, he should make it in the squad. Was on the receiving end of Tewatia’s special in IPL 2020 at UAE.
Remarkable comeback story. Debuting back in 2003, he left to England around 2012 after 165 Test wickets & 60 ODI wickets, employing his trade for Hampshire. Now back to the T20I side as a 39-year-old, he hasn’t been at his best. However, a slingy fast bowler is never a bad thing as long as he is fit.
Last Played T20I For West Indies:Have not Played Yet (ODI: July 25, 2021)
Will he play the IPL?No.
CPL Team: Jamaica Tallawahs
One of the breakthrough stars of the 2016 U-19 World Cup, he was soon fast tracked to the Test & ODI arena. Although he has yet to debut in T20Is, his 6/12 remains the best figures for Mumbai Indians in the IPL. Has also shown maturity with the bat with 86 (Test) & 29* (ODI) recently. He has the potential, but might be a toss off between him and Oshane Thomas.
Ex-USA international (born in U.S. Virgin Islands) with Antiguan father & uncle, who both competed at the first class level. In-and-out recently, his Player of the Series performance against Australia should safely put him in the West Indies T20 World Cup squad.
West Indies T20 World Cup Squad Verdict – Spinners
Makes Team:Hayden Walsh Jr., Akeal Hosein, Kevin Sinclair
Out of Team:Khary Pierre
37-42. Ashley Nurse, Joshua de Silva, Chemar Holder, Jayden Seales, Kemar Roach, Shannon Gabriel
West Indies T20 World Cup Squad
Here is the moment of truth. Based on our player-by-player analysis above, here is Broken Cricket Dreams’ Predicted XI and West Indies T20 World Cup squad.
West Indies now have a good mix of youth & experience. Along with the legends (Gayle, Pollard, Russell, Bravo), there is the next batch of players (Lewis, Pooran, Allen) and the 2016 U-19 World Cup generation (Hetmyer, Joseph, McCoy, Paul).
The IPL is full of surprises and memorable moments. Here are my moments of today:
Kane Williamson provides the balance– SRH always had the players but not the balance. Williamson’s calm 16 (19) made sure SRH cross the line. At the same spot in earlier games, Warner or Bairstow’s dismissal would cause a collapse. I like the look of this lineup—Warner-Bairstow-Williamson at the top followed by Kedar Jadhav-Vijay Shankar-Abhishek Sharma.
Jonny Bairstow is a star. Definitely one of the modern ODI greats, he has started IPL 2021 with scores of 55, 12, 43, and 63*. This knock would please Bairstow since he finished the game himself. A ton coming soon?
Khaleel Ahmed is back. In 2018-19, Khaleel was India’s pace spearhead. By late 2020, he had even dropped off from SRH’s pecking order. Natarajan’s injury is a concern, but the blessing in disguise is the return of Khaleel. Figures of 3/21 today.
Broken Cricket Dream of the Day: Pooran’s Poor Form Persists
Run out without facing a ball has to be the worst broken dream for a batsman. Pooran was on the receiving day today.
Poor Pooran – 0(1), 0(2), 0(0) – run (out). Shall I say anymore? With 9 as his highest score and Chris Gayle not doing too hot either, it is safe to say that, Dawid Malan, world’s #1 T20I batsman, needs to be back.
Why bench Ravi Bishnoi, one of the breakout stars of IPL 2020? Punjab Kings did well to take the game to the 19th over, but the bowling lineup does not aspire too much confidence. Why not play both Murugan Ashwin & Ravi Bishnoi?
IPL 2021 Points Table, Orange Cap, & Purple Cap Leaders
No need to go elsewhere for the Points Table, Orange Cap, & Purple Cap. We will keep updating it in every article!
Nicholas Pooran announced himself to the cricketing world in the 2014 U-19 Cricket World Cup. Top scored for the West Indies and fourth highest overall in the tournament—303 runs at 60.60 with a strike rate of 99.34 with 1 century and 2 fifties.
Quarter Final time. West Indies Vs Australia. The West Indies are struggling at 7-3. In comes Nicholas Pooran. Nudges it around and brings up a calm fifty from 75 balls. Wickets keep falling at the other end. The Windies are now 85-8.
Then came the onslaught (Watch this). Straight sixes galore. Flicked six. Sixes over cow corner. Breathtaking stuff.
West Indies end with a score of 208. Nicholas Pooran top scores 143 off 160 balls, last man out. Next highest? 20 runs by the #10. The scorecard read: 1, 4, 10, 0, 143, 7, 1, 1, 1, 20, 0*.
With that knock, he came into national spotlight as a future wicketkeeper after Denesh Ramdin. A debut first class & CPL season with Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel would follow. At age 17, he hit 54 (24) including an inside-out six and reverse sweep to Sunil Narine. The 2014 Sunil Narine that is.
But barely into his cricketing career, little did he know that his world was about to turn upside down.
Two surgeries, several months on wheelchair, endless therapy & rehab sessions later, Pooran finally started to walk again after six months. A couple of months later, he would start jogging. 18 months from the incident, a CPL game with Barbados Trident.
Two and a half years later—a West Indian jersey.
During these tough times, he found a support system comprising of his parents, Dr. Oba Gulston (physiotherapist in CPL teams), Kelvin Williams (assistant coach in T&T), coach Phil Simmons, and mentor & future captain, Kieron Pollard. Pooran credits Pollard’s constant encouragement, communication, & support that got him through.
It was Pollard’s faith in Pooran & his talent, that he vouched for his selection in the CPL with his team, Barbados Trident. And boy did he repay his faith.
July 17, 2016. St. Lucia Zouks Vs Barbados Tridents.
Pooran outclassed a batting order comprising of Shoaib Malik, the 2016 version of AB De Villiers, and Kieron Pollard. In a 49 run partnership with Pollard, Pollard scored only 6. Dominating comeback performance. Watch his blistering knock of 81 (39). 558 days later, Nicholas Pooran was back.
As he said in his post-match interview, “I am back. I am back stronger.”
After the comeback, the only direction Pooran could go was up. He would make his T20I debut later that year in September 2016. International recognition would come in the 2018 & 2019 T20I series against India.
The moment when I realized he was the next big thing in world cricket was the 2019 Cricket World Cup. Whenever Pooran came to the crease, I knew something was bound to happen. Some of his knocks included:
34 (19) Vs Pakistan, 40 (36) Vs Australia, 63 (78) Vs West Indies, 118 (103) Vs Sri Lanka, & 58 (43) Vs Afghanistan.
His maiden international century against Sri Lanka was especially something else. In a chase of 339, West Indies struggle at 145-5. He pulls & heaves. Knocks the ball around. Brilliant partnership with Fabian Allen gets them close until Allen’s unfortunate run-out. Yet, until Pooran was at the crease, anything could have happened.
31 needed of 18, and West Indies are still in the game. Only for a hobbling Angelo Mathews to get Pooran off a wide one against all odds. End of the dream.
The West Indies did not make it to the semi-finals, but Pooran established his presence with that knock. The ability to combine composure & power is what makes him extremely dangerous. The sweet sound off his bat is second to none. And the question comes again, why isn’t he selected for Test cricket again?
What Is He Doing Now?
His stocks continued to rise with leagues around the world. Recently, Pooran’s performance in the IPL with the KXIP was outstanding, including the best fielding effort you will ever see. With the bat, 353 runs at 170 was not too bad either.
He is now the vice-captain in the T20I squad (as of the Sri Lanka series. Yes the one in which Kieron Pollard hit 6 sixes).
What Can We Learn From Nicholas Pooran?
Although just 25, we can learn so many from Pooran already. He does not like to dwell on the incident, and instead look on the bright side and stay in the present. Let us do exactly that and see how we can apply the inspirational lessons in our lives. Here is Pooran in his own words.
Pooran In His Own Words: The Life Lessons
“If I can come back from it, anyone can come back from anything.”
When life pushes you down, you always have two options—to view the glass as half empty or half-full. It is a matter of perspective. Optimism and keeping the hope alive will allow you to get through the tough times.
“I believe everything happens for a reason…blessing in disguise.”
Everyone has childhood dreams, whether that is to become a sports player, an artist, a world renowned scientist, but sometimes life works out differently. Instead of dwelling on the disappointments, we should be grateful what we actually have. Be thankful for your family, your health, and the fact you were given the opportunity to explore other ventures & improve upon yourself.
“I really doubted it but never give up on my dreams.”
Even the most positive individual can go in the depths of self-doubt. That is okay, it is just natural. Just keep working on it little by little by little, day by day. Who knows, your dream might come true and if it did not, you know you gave it an honest try. No regrets.
“Every single opportunity you get, you have to grab it.”
Do not wait to change to come. Find opportunities, and if you get a chance, give it your ALL. Put your entire soul & energy into it. Sometimes you will get multiple chances, while other times, you may only get one. Make it count.
Finally Pooran ends it perfectly with, “I appreciate the life that I have and the talent I have. I was blessed.”
Count your blessings. Gratefulness, Endurance, Persistence, Resilience, and Grace—that is what Pooran teaches us.