With 13584 runs, 22 centuries and 85 50s under his belt Christopher Henry Gayle is arguably the greatest T20 batsman in history.

Nicholas Pooran believes the West Indies’ low ranking in T20 cricket is due mainly to the fact that it hasn’t been able to put its best players on the field of play often enough.

The West Indies are currently ranked 10th in the ICC T20 rankings despite having some of the best players in the world in their talent pool. However, Pooran anticipates that the team could show its full potential at the next world cup.

“I just believe that most of the series West Indies play, they don't play with their strongest team. And by strongest I mean Chris Gayle, Pollard, Russell, Narine, Bravo in the team together,” the talented Trinidadian said in a recent interview with ESPNCricinfo.

“In the last couple of years, we haven't witnessed these players together. Either most of them weren't selected, some were unavailable ... but definitely a case around that.

“We couldn't play as a team after the last T20 World Cup. This, I am saying from a player's and a fan's point of view. Not seeing some of my favourite players represent West Indies might be one of the reasons.”

Notwithstanding the disappointment that comes with that reality, Pooran said he is looking forward to the coming T20 World Cup where he expects to be a better player holding his own amongst the best players from the region.

“Personally, I am looking forward to the T20 World Cup. As a team, our strength is T20s. For the last couple of years, we've been doing good in World Cups, but as a team where we are ranked [10th], it doesn't show how good our team actually is,” he said, indicating that believes that situation could change in the near future.

“Most of the senior guys are coming back to the West Indies team ... like Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo, Andre Russell and Sunil Narine are all coming back eventually.

“As a player, I am especially excited because I want to do good for the West Indies people and put a smile on their faces. My record for West Indies in T20s isn't that good and I want to improve that for the next couple of months.”

 

 

Let’s face it. Melbourne Stars batsman Andre Fletcher has not set the Big Bash League alight with his batting. The Grenadian batsman, who has been opening for the Stars, has a top score of 18 in seven outings. And, after scores of 10, 10, 18, 4, 6, 12 and 12, few would argue with the growing consensus that he should be to be dropped.

However, he showed on Sunday - with two spectacular catches against the Hobart Hurricanes - that his value extends well beyond his batting skills, as he twice helped swing the match in favour of the Stars, who eked out a close 10-run victory.

Fletcher made 10 of the Melbourne Stars’ 183 for 6 from their 20 overs, thanks mainly to Marcus Stoinis’ unbeaten 55-ball 97 that included seven fours and seven sixes; 36 from Hilton Cartwright and 26 from the in-form Nicholas Pooran.

Riley Meredith, who had Fletcher caught behind after his four-ball stay at the crease ended with 2 for 25 but it was Nathan Ellis, who dismissed Cartwright and Pooran, who was the Hurricanes’ best bowler with 3 for 31.

Daunting as the target might have seemed, Ben McDermott seemed headed to make light work of it with a blazing knock of 91 off just 58 balls and included eight fours and five sixes. It was while going for his sixth six that Fletcher intervened, changing the direction of the match in the process.

On the last ball of the 19th over, Liam Hatcher (1 for 45) served up a thigh-high full toss wide outside off McDermott, who flayed it flat over extra cover. Fletcher, known as the Spiceman, raced close to 10m to his left before taking off like Superman to hold on to a spectacular catch to have the Hurricanes at 163 for 5.

Fletcher’s blinder was his second of the match.

At the fall of the Hurricanes’ second wicket, that of Dawid Malan for 26 with the score 89, Colin Ingram and McDermott flayed the Stars’ bowling to all parts putting together a 50-run stand in just 22 balls.

It was a partnership that was threatening to take the match away from the visitors when in the 17th over, Billy Stanlake (1 for 41) bowled one full and wide. Ingram sliced it in the air over extra cover. Fletcher charged in, misread the flight of the ball and then adjusted as the ball began to tail away towards the boundary rope.

At the last minute, Fletcher dove to his right and snatched the ball inches off the ground before breaking out into a celebratory dance.

It was then 139 for 3, with the Hurricanes still in the hunt until Fletcher struck out in the field once more.

Half centuries from Nicholas Pooran and Shayne Moseley were not enough to prevent the West Indies ‘A’ from going down to a 101-run to New Zealand at Nelson on Sunday.

West Indies "A" followed their senior counterparts in the manner of defeat on Sunday going down by an innings and 143 runs to New Zealand ‘A’ at the Bay Oval in Mount Manguanui in New Zealand.

Glen Phillips and Tim Seifert each scored centuries as New Zealand ‘A’ made West Indies ‘A’ bowlers toil on day two of their four-day match at Mount Maunganui ground.

 

I use my Sundays to look back at what has been happening in the world of sport. On many a Sunday, I realize that people have looked at the stories they have seen throughout the week through different lenses. I have my own personal take on some of these issues and I will share them with you. Welcome to #INCASEYOUMISSEDIT. 

) Nicholas Pooran - one for the future.    

West Indies have provided Nicholas Pooran with the opportunity to prove that he is worthy of being part of the Test squad by including him in a 14-man 'A' squad to play a pair of first-class matches in New Zealand next month.

This, I feel is a good move.

The 25-year-old Trinidadian has played well in the shorter formats to the extent that many fans and pundits alike have suggested that he should considered for Test selection. There are others, however, who believe he should not be included because of his limited participation in first-class cricket in that he has only played three games for Trinidad and Tobago back in 2014.

My question is, how will we know unless he tries?

Sometimes an opportunity is all you need. The chance Pooran is now being given will allow selectors to determine if he has what it takes. Cricket West Indies lead selector Roger Harper believes the player deserves an opportunity.

"This series will give our players an opportunity to play first-class cricket against foreign opposition as well as experience different conditions here in New Zealand. It will also help to keep them in the frame should the need for replacements for the test team arise as we will have players who have been playing red-ball cricket and in form to consider."

There are two four-day matches set for December 3 in Mount Maunganui and December 11 in Nelson.

 

  1. Ineffective bowling cost the Windies

West Indies were outplayed by New Zealand and lost by 72 runs in the second T20 International on Sunday at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui. New Zealand’s Glenn Phillips cracked a 51-ball century, the quickest in T20Is by a New Zealander as the home side took a winning 2-0 lead. 

The West Indies struggled to make a mark in the first two matches of the series. In the first match, there were a combination of errors with the bat and ball.  Despite the heroics of skipper Kieron Pollard, who blasted 75 not out, the Windies lost five wickets for one run and needed Pollard’s brilliant knock to get them back into contention.

Wickets were also hard to come by as Keemo Paul went for 39 runs in three overs that included five costly no-balls. Kesrick Williams gave up 33 runs in two overs while Fabian Allen went for 32 runs in the 12 balls he was allowed.

 

In the second T20 international, Andre Fletcher looked good for the time he lasted but was run out on 20 having faced 14 deliveries. Brandon King failed miserably and was dismissed for duck. West Indies' biggest hopes in the middle order Shimron Hetmyer and Nicholas Pooran failed to fire.

How many times do we expect the Windies captain to carry the side? Skipper Kieron Pollard top-scored again for the Windies with his 15-ball 28, which included three consecutive sixes off Mitchell Santner but it was not enough.

As was the case in the first match, none of the Windies bowlers made an impact. Instead of gaining momentum when Guptill and Seifert were dismissed they literally dropped the ball. There were a number of misfields and a general lack of discipline from the bowlers.  Fast bowler Keemo Paul conceded 64 runs in four overs and Sheldon Cottrell went for 39 runs.  

The final T20 international will be held at Mount Maunganui on Monday, before a two-Test series begins in Hamilton on December 3.

  

  1. The world rocked by the passing of Diego Maradona. RIP Sir.

 On Sunday, Lionel Messi paid an emotional tribute to Diego Maradona by revealing a Newell's Old Boys shirt after scoring for Barcelona in their 4-0 win over Osasuna. The forward looked emotional during the minute’s applause for Maradona, who died at the age of 60 on Wednesday after a heart attack.

Messi, his fellow Argentine, alongside Pele and Cristiana Ronaldo best summed up the passing of the legend when they said "He is gone, but he will be with us for eternity."

Without a doubt, Maradona will be remembered for his many achievements on the field. He won titles in three different countries. He took Argentina to victory in the 1986 World Cup. He delivered two league titles to the city of Naples, something most felt was impossible. However, the Argentine’s impact off the field is what touched people the most.

He was vulnerable and showed that openly as he lived a life of excess in the public eye.  He immersed himself in whatever he did and took on the authorities when they failed to represent what he stood for. He will be remembered for his work on and off the field. Rest in peace, Sir. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nicholas Pooran, Rovman Powell, and a number of others will get a brief chance to show their aptitude for cricket’s longest format, as they were expectedly named in a 14-man West Indies A squad to face New Zealand A next month.

In recent months, there have been calls to consider the in-form Pooran, in particular, for the Test cricket format, with his advocates insisting the shot maker has the ability to adapt. 

Chief of selectors Roger Harper, as a result, extended the invitation to players on the current tour interested in playing a set of three-day games that will take place at roughly the same time as the team’s Test matches.

In addition to the interested white-ball specialists, the team will consist of six reserve Test players.

 “This series will give our players an opportunity to play first-class cricket against foreign opposition as well as experience different conditions here in New Zealand,” Harper was quoted as saying.

“It will also help to keep them in the frame should the need for replacements for the Test team arise, as we will have players who have been playing red-ball cricket and in-form to consider.”

 

FULL SQUAD

Fabian Allen

Nkrumah Bonner

Joshua DaSilva

Brandon King

Kyle Mayers

Preston McSween

Shayne Moseley

Nicholas Pooran

Rovman Powell

Raymon Reifer

Jayden Seales

Romario Shepherd

Oshane Thomas

Hayden Walsh

 

West Indies “A” Team Tour Schedule

December 3-6: West Indies “A” vs New Zealand "A" at Bay Oval

December 11-14: West Indies “A” vs New Zealand “A” at Saxton Oval, Nelson

After being lauded by Melbourne Stars Head Coach David Hussey, West Indies batsman Nicholas Pooran says he eager to suit up for the team during this season of the Australia Big Bash League (BBL).

Cricket West Indies (CWI) today named the vice-captains for the upcoming series in New Zealand.  Nicholas Pooran will be vice-captain for the three T20 Internationals (T20Is), while Roston Chase has been named vice-captain for the two International Cricket Council's World Test Championship matches.

Batting all-rounder Roston Chase, 28, has so far played 35 Test matches, scoring five centuries and collecting three five-wicket hauls with his off-spin bowling. Wicket-keeper/batsman Pooran, 25, is among the leading white-ball players with two half-centuries in 19 T20I innings and also averaging close to 50 in One Day Internationals.

 “Roston Chase has been appointed vice captain of the West Indies Test Team for this tour of New Zealand. He is an experienced player who is tactically aware and very purposeful in his approach to the game. He is readily willing to offer advice and discuss ideas with his fellow players and the coaches and I think will offer good leadership support to captain Jason Holder both on and off the field,” said Chief Selector Roger Harper.

“Nicholas Pooran continues in the role of vice-captain of the T20I Team for the tour of New Zealand. He was first named vice-captain for this format for the series against Afghanistan in 2019.”

Chase, meantime, was delighted with the appointment.

“I have been making strides in Test cricket since my debut back in 2016 and I see this new role as vice-captain as an honour,” he said.

“It is just for me to try and carry on and try to achieve great things for West Indies. It is all about offering support to the captain, coach and other players as we try to plan strategy and put more wins on the board.”

Nicholas Pooran expressed that this appointment presents a chance to develop further.

“I see this as another opportunity to learn and grow in the game. I was vice- captain for the tour of Sri Lanka earlier this year, so this is continuation of that work,” he said.

“It’s always good to share your knowledge as we look to continue the winning mentality. We were successful in Sri Lanka and this is series we believe we can get more success against New Zealand.”

FULL SQUADS

T20I Squad: Kieron Pollard (captain), Nicholas Pooran (vice-captain), Fabian Allen, Sheldon Cottrell, Andre Fletcher, Shimron Hetmyer, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Rovman Powell, Keemo Paul, Romario Shepherd, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr, Kesrick Williams

Test Squad: Jason Holder (captain), Roston Chase (vice-captain), Jermaine Blackwood, Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Rahkeem Cornwall, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Chemar Holder, Alzarri Joseph, Keemo Paul, Kemar Roach

Test Reserves: Nkrumah Bonner, Joshua DaSilva, Preston McSween, Shayne Moseley, Raymon Reifer, Jayden Seales.

 

Match Schedule:

November 27: 1st T20I at Eden Park, Auckland

November 29:  2nd T20I at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui

November 30: 3rd T20I at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui

December 3-7: 1st Test at Seddon Park, Hamilton

December 11-15: 2nd Test at Basin Reserve, Wellington

 

Cricket commentator Michael Holding believes Nicholas Pooran should be playing Test cricket despite the fact that he has not played much first-class cricket.

West Indies batsman Nicholas Pooran will have the chance to show off his Test cricket credentials in upcoming First-Class matches during the tour of New Zealand.

Recently, calls have grown louder for the 25-year-old batsman to be included in the team for the game’s longest format.  Pooran has put together a string of impressive performances in both the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) and Indian Premier League (IPL) convincing some, including legendary West Indian batsman Viv Richards, that some of that success can be translated to the four-day format.

The batsman was not picked on the Test squad for next month’s tour but was named as part of the team’s T20 squad.  Despite that, Cricket West Indies (CWI) chief of selectors Roger Harper recently revealed that the matter was being given some serious thought.

“There was a lot of consideration given to Nicholas Pooran; we are still looking at it and I am sure as we move forward, Pooran will have an opportunity as well,” Harper said.

The pair of First-Class matches are expected to take place at the same time as the Test match.  The first Test is scheduled for Hamilton, between December 3-7, with the second booked for Wellington from December 11-15.  Harper indicated that the team will consist of some of the T20 players and Test reserves.

"He is in the T20 squad and he has expressed willingness to play in four-day games that will be available during the tour," Harper said.

So far, Pooran has only played three First-Class matches and he has a top score of 55.  In One Day Internationals (ODIs) he is considered as one of the most talented young batsmen. In 25 matches Pooran has scored 932 runs at an average of 49 with one century and seven fifties. In T20 cricket, he has 14 fifties and one hundred in 146 global matches.

Chris Gayle made an impact and KL Rahul continued his impressive form as Kings XI Punjab once again come out on top against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League.

Kings XI have found wins hard to come by in 2020 but have now triumphed in both games with Bangalore, albeit only after surviving a late wobble on Thursday. 

Gayle made 53 from 45 balls but was run out from the penultimate delivery with the scores level. That left Nicholas Pooran to come out and face one ball, which he proceeded to launch down the ground for six. 

The eight-wicket victory gives Kings XI renewed hope for the season, though they remain bottom of the table. 

Rahul – who made 132 not out in the previous meeting of the two franchises – finished up unbeaten on 61, in the process extending his lead at the top of the run-scoring table. 

Opening partner Mayank Agarwal weighed in with 45 as Bangalore's total of 171-6 was not quite enough, despite the unexpected final-over drama. 

Virat Kohli had top-scored with 48 but the Royal Challengers struggled to pick up the run-rate, making the decision to leave AB de Villiers down at six in the order even more surprising. 

The South African made just two but compatriot Chris Morris was far more successful in the closing stages, an eight-ball cameo seeing him make 25 not out. 

DE VILLIERS MADE TO WAIT 

De Villiers was at his explosive best against Kolkata Knight Riders last time out, smashing an unbeaten 73 from 33 balls. 

Despite that explosive display of hitting, Bangalore sent both Washington Sundar and Shivam Dube in ahead of him, before he eventually came out with four overs to go.

THE UNIVERSE BOSS IS BACK!

Gayle's involvement in the tournament was delayed by food poisoning, leading to a spell in hospital. He batted in the unfamiliar position of three for Kings XI, coming in after the opening duo had put on 78. 

After a cautious start, the left-hander cut loose with a solitary four and five sixes. Even his demise added a little drama, but Pooran finished the job in style with a maximum off Yuzvendra Chahal. 

Following his whirlwind half century for Kings XI Punjab on Thursday, albeit in a losing cause, Nicholas Pooran has come in for high praise from IPL pundits, former players Tom Moody and Ajit Agarkar.

The 25-year-old Trinidadian raced to 77 from just 37 balls smashing seven massive sixes and five fours as KXIP chased the 201 set by Sunrisers Hyderabad in their 20 overs.

The ninth over of the KXIP was especially memorable for the 28 runs Pooran scored off the bowling of Abdul Samad’s leg-break deliveries.

Pooran smashed four sixes and a four in the over. He slammed the fourth ball over long off for the third six in the over that brought up his 50 in just 17 balls, the fastest so far this season.

Moody, the former all-rounder turned commentator and administrator, has been watching Pooran for a number of years now in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) and in the IPL and believes the batsman has an exciting future ahead of him.

“I don’t think there are better strikers of the ball in world cricket than Nicholas Pooran,” said Moody while speaking on T20 Timeout.

“He times the ball. He has got a wonderful bat swing. It’s a bit like Yuvraj Singh’s bat swing. It’s very long and elegant one that not only possesses a huge amount of power but incredible timing, hits the ball a long, long way and he seems to do it for fun.”

The former all-rounder continued: “I think this is just the beginning of an exciting number of years for Nicholas Pooran in IPL cricket and cricket outside the IPL.”

Agarkar, the former Indian fast bowler, was in agreement.

“Those sixes were massive sixes,” he said. “Just beautiful timing every time he hits the ball, pace and spin, it’s not one or the other, and just bats beautifully.”

 

 

 

Jonny Bairstow fell three shy of an Indian Premier League century before Rashid Khan claimed three wickets as Sunrisers Hyderabad thrashed Kings XI Punjab by 69 runs.

An opening stand of 160 between David Warner (52) and Bairstow (97) put Sunrisers firmly in control, though they would have been slightly disappointed to finish on 201-6 given the platform laid for them.

Kings XI required something special if they were to chase down 202 and a 17-ball half-century from Nicholas Pooran (77) certainly gave them hope.

However, he was one of three victims for Rashid (3-12), whose stingy four-over spell proved pivotal as bottom side Kings XI collapsed to be dismissed for 132 inside 17 overs.

There were five wides in the first over of the match, setting the tone for an innings that was only slightly rescued from a Kings XI perspective by Ravi Bishnoi (3-29) and Arshdeep Singh (2-33), as Sunrisers scored only five boundaries in the last 38 balls.

Kings XI were three down inside seven overs, the dangerous KL Rahul - the leading run-scorer in this IPL - falling for 11, but Pooran's brutal hitting ensured Sunrisers were far from home and hosed.

However, Kings XI slumped from 105-3 to 132 all out, with Sunrisers claiming a win that moved them up to third in the table.

 

BAIRSTOW OUTSHINES MILESTONE MAN WARNER

Warner hit five boundaries from his first 14 balls and went on to make his 50th IPL half-century.

However, it was opening partner Bairstow's boundary-laden knock that really caught the eye, the England batsman smashing seven fours and six maximums in a fine effort.

POORAN HITS TARGET

West Indian Pooran scored the fastest half-century of this IPL by bringing up the milestone in just 17 deliveries.

Prior to the tournament he said making the most rapid 50 was on his agenda, and boy did he deliver as he smashed Abdul Samad for three sixes and a four to get there.

Pooran also has three of the five biggest sixes in this edition of the IPL - all over 100 metres.

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