Legendary West Indies batsman Viv Richards is confident Nicholas Pooran was the right choice for captain of the One Day  International squad and has backed the player to do well in the position.

Pooran was named as the replacement for all-rounder Kieron Pollard last week, following the latter’s surprise decision to retire from international cricket a few weeks ago.  The decision to appoint the 25-year-old by the Cricket West Indies (CWI) panel of selectors hardly came as a surprise as the players was already being groomed for the position.

Pooran, who had served as Pollard’s vice-captain over the last year, took charge of the team for a series against India earlier this year.  For Richards who himself captained the team between 1980 and 1991, the choice was an obvious one.

“There wasn’t any other choice in my opinion. I think the young man is pretty studious about what he wants to get done. He takes his cricket pretty studiously and I am a fan of Nicholas Pooran,” Richards told the Antigua Observer.

The Master Blaster believes the player has come a long way since making his debut for the team in 2016 and has now blossomed into the role.

“Early in his career I guess there was some immaturity … but having been through the mill and where he’s at now, I think he is the perfect choice as captain.”

Former West Indies batsman Philo Wallace is surprised at the decision by the Cricket West Indies (CWI) selection panel to not name a vice-captain for the T20I team.

Trinidadian left-hander Nicholas Pooran was announced as the West Indies’ new T20 and ODI skipper on Tuesday following the retirement of former captain Kieron Pollard from international cricket last month.

Barbados batsman Shai Hope was named the ODI vice-captain but there was no such announcement for the T20 format.

“Shai Hope is being designated as his deputy for the 50-over squad. There’s no vice-captain for the T20 squad, which I find very interesting,” said Wallace while appearing on the Mason & Guest Radio Show in Barbados on Tuesday.

Missing international assignments has been a big problem for the West Indian players, who are involved in various T20 leagues around the world and Wallace hopes this doesn’t become an issue with the new Windies skipper.

“His first assignment is away to Holland and I hope that we don’t hear that Pooran is going to miss a lot of international cricket after being elevated to this very serious post. I do hope that the selectors would’ve sat down with him via zoom and have a serious discussion with him about what they are expecting of him and what he’s expecting of himself and try to pick the best possible squads going forward,” he said.

“All I can say is I wish him all the very best and I do hope that he can help turn our cricket around and work closely with the players, selection panel and the coaches to try to lift the quality of our white ball cricket,” Wallace added.

Pooran has so far scored 1121 runs at an average of 40.03 in 37 ODIs and 1193 runs at an average of 27.74 in 57 T20Is.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) on Tuesday confirmed the appointment of Nicholas Pooran as the West Indies Men’s One-Day International (ODI) and T20 International (T20I) captain, following the international retirement of Kieron Pollard.

Pooran will take over the captaincy for the West Indies ODI and T20I teams after being Pollard’s deputy over the last year. The appointment will include the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in 2022 and the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in October 2023.  Shai Hope has been recommended to stand as vice-captain of the ODI team.

CWI’s Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams said: “We believe Nicholas is ready for the challenge of leading our white ball teams given his experience, performances, and the respect he has within the playing group.  The Selection Panel believes that Nicholas has matured as a player and were impressed with his leadership of both teams when Kieron Pollard had been absent. The experience he has gathered playing in various franchise leagues around the world was also a factor in the decision to recommend him for the T20 captaincy.”

Pooran has already captained the West Indies Men in Pollard’s absence, leading them to a CG Insurance T20I Series win at home against Australia in 2021. 

The left-handed wicketkeeper/batsman has eight half-centuries and an ODI century to his name. He has also scored eight T20I half-centuries for the West Indies Senior Men’s team. He first burst onto the cricket scene representing the West Indies Under-19 team at the 2014 ICC Men’s U19 World Cup, smashing 303 runs from six matches.

CWI President Ricky Skerritt congratulated Pooran on his appointment saying, “Nicholas Pooran is a specially gifted cricketer, and the right person to take over the white ball captaincy. We are confident that he will continue to climb the leadership learning curve speedily, and successfully. I appeal to all West Indies cricket stakeholders to give Nicholas the support and encouragement that he deserves.”

Pooran expressed his delight in his appointment saying, “I am truly honored to be appointed captain of the West Indies team. I am following the footsteps of several giants of the game who have created an amazing legacy for West Indies cricket. This is indeed a prestigious role, a pivotal position in the West Indian society, as cricket is the force that brings us all West Indians together. To be named captain is indeed the highlight of my career so far and I want to drive the team forward to accomplish great things on the field for our fans and loyal supporters.”

His first outing as captain will be the three away ODIs against The Netherlands in Amstelveen starting May 31 which form part of the ICC World Cup Super League.

 

Kane Williamson's steady 57 helped Sunrisers Hyderabad claim their second Indian Premier League win in succession as they overcame Gujarat Titans by eight wickets.

The New Zealand captain anchored Hyderabad's chase brilliantly until he finally fell at the start of the 17th over to Hardik Pandya, yet the damage had already been done.

Hyderabad, chasing 163, were 129 by the time they lost their captain, though they did take their time in getting across the line – Nicholas Pooran (34 not out) and Aiden Markram (8 not out) sealing victory with five balls to spare.

Titans skipper Pandya scored an unbeaten half-century, yet Abhinav Manohar (35) was the only one of his team-mates to get above 20.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2-37) and Thangarasu Natarajan (2-34) were the pick of Hyderabad's bowlers as the Titans were restricted to 162-7 from their 20 overs.

Unlike Pandya, Williamson was ably supported by Abhishek Sharma, whose 42 included six boundaries before he fell to Rashid Khan (1-28).

Rahul Tripathi (17) retired hurt, but Pooran's knock came from 18 balls as the wicketkeeper ensured his captain's work would not be fruitless.

Williamson delivers first blow to the Titans

Williamson's composure was crucial to the Sunrisers getting a second straight eight-wicket win, with his haul including six boundaries, four of which cleared the rope. Indeed, he brought up his half-century with a scoop from compatriot Lockie Ferguson.

The Titans had enjoyed a winning start to their inaugural IPL season, the only team to have managed three consecutive victories, but that run was ended in comprehensive fashion.

Khan just short of IPL milestone

With his dismissal of Sharma, Khan is now on 99 wickets in the IPL. While his landmark did not come on Monday, he will surely reach triple figures soon enough.

Four-time Caribbean Premier League Champions Trinbago Knight Riders have signed Jamaican all-rounder Andre Russell and middle-order batsman Nicholas Pooran for the 2022 season.

West Indies T20 vice-captain Nicholas Pooran rose to fame in the shortest format of the game as a somewhat of a late-innings specialist, somebody whose role entailed coming in and hitting boundaries at the back-end of the innings.

In recent times, however, Pooran has embraced a new role at the top of the innings.  He recently explained how the roles differ.

“Massive difference. At three sometimes, if you come in in the powerplay, the ball is swinging, it's then just a matter of facing a couple balls and you basically have the freedom to execute your skills to maximize only two fielders being outside the circle,’” Pooran said in a recent interview with EspnCricinfo.

“Batting later and coming in the tenth or 15th over, it's about having that clarity in your execution, the skill and ability to perform in those different roles,” Pooran added.

He also emphasized the importance of being versatile as a T20 batsman.

“If you look around at international cricket, not many openers can finish an innings, so to me it's about being versatile and working on your skills to adapt. But it's definitely easier batting at the top of the innings than in the back end,” Pooran said.

In the West Indies' last T20 international series against India, Pooran scored three fifties in as many games batting at the number three slot.

He will hope to bring that versatility to the Sunrisers Hyderabad for the Indian Premier League which gets underway on March 26th. Pooran’s Sunrisers open their tournament on March 29th against the Rajasthan Royals.

 

Ever since Nicholas Pooran made his international debut against Pakistan in 2016, many admirers have been asking when will he suit up for Test cricket?

In an interview with ESPNCricinfo last Friday, the West Indies T20 vice-captain shed some light on how he feels about representing the region in the longest format of the game.

“Playing Test cricket is still in my plans, but as I say, everything happens at the right time. When it's my time to play Test cricket, I'm sure I will,” he said.

One way that Pooran could find his way into the West Indies Test team is by playing first-class cricket but that has proven to be logistically challenging.

“After the IPL finishes in May, West Indies have a few white-ball series, so I don't know when there's actually time for me to play first-class cricket or what the way forward is. It's a challenge,” he said.

“It's difficult, we don't really get much time off for ourselves. I believe there should be a compromise, but everyone sees it differently,” he added.

Since his debut in 2014, Pooran has only played five first-class matches with the last one being in December 2020 for the West Indies A against New Zealand A.

Pooran, who is set to represent the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL), said he has already had conversations with Desmond Haynes, the lead selector for the West Indies men’s senior team about his red-ball prospects.

“We had a small conversation. It went well actually, so let's see what happens in the future. Going forward, it's a conversation I need to have with the selectors and coach,” he said.

 

 

Brian Lara is one of the greatest batsmen in the history of cricket with feats that many who play the game can only dream of.

The world record holder for the highest individual scores in both Test cricket (400 not out) and First-Class cricket (501 not out) has also been gracious enough to lend his knowledge of the game to the current crop of players and has been appointed as the batting coach for the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad.

One of his pupils will be his Trinidadian countryman and fellow stylish left-hander Nicholas Pooran, a prospect the current West Indies T20 vice-captain is excited about.

“Yeah, we have had a couple of conversations in the recent past. He's simply superb, amazing when it comes to batting and how he views the game. So yeah, looking forward to that opportunity to work with him,” Pooran said in an interview with ESPNCricinfo.

The West Indian great Lara scored 11,953 runs in Test cricket with 34 hundreds at an average of 52.88 in 131 matches. He scored 10,405 runs in 299 ODIs with 19 hundreds at an average of 40.48.

The 2022 edition of the IPL kicks off on March 26th while Pooran and Lara’s Sunrisers have their first game on March 29th against the Rajasthan Royals.

Pooran is coming off scores of 61, 62 and 61 in the three T20 Internationals against India last month and if his current form is anything to go by, he should have a stellar IPL season. The input of Brian Lara should certainly help.

 

In-form West Indies wicketkeeper/batsman Nicholas Pooran smashed a whirlwind century for the Leatherback Giants in the ongoing Trinidad T10 Blast at the Brian Lara Stadium in Trinidad on Monday. Pooran smashed a 37-ball 101 not out in the 10-overs-a-side match to take the Giants to a comfortable nine-wicket victory.

Chasing 129 to win in 10 overs against the Scarlet Ibis Scorchers, Pooran’s blast ensured that the Giants raced to a comfortable win with 9 balls to spare. Kamil Pooran remained unbeaten at the other end with Nicholas on 20 off 11 balls.

Pooran’s century was studded with 10 massive sixes and six fours and came with a strike rate of 272.97. Batting first, the Scorchers posted 128-3 in 10 overs.

Scorchers opener Tion Webster top-scored with 54 off 26 balls with five sixes and four fours. Ewart Nicholson remained unbeaten on 42 off 16 balls with four sixes and three fours to be the next highest scorer.

Pooran’s effort ensured that this was the Giants’ first win of the tournament after three matches. They are currently fourth on the points table with 2 points from 3 matches. While the Scorchers are yet to win a single match and are right at the bottom of the table after three matches.

 

West Indies Captain Kieron Pollard is choosing to focus on the positives coming out of the Indian white-ball tour in which the Caribbean side was swept 3-0 in both the ODI and T20 series.

Speaking after the West Indies lost the final T20 by 17 runs on Sunday, Pollard said the tour was not a complete disaster.

 

“When you look at the games, it was definitely a close series but it just goes to show the fine line in international cricket in terms of the margins for error,” said Pollard.

“I thought the guys really put up their hands and gave a really good account of themselves so I don’t think we should feel disgraced by what has taken place.

"We’re not happy with losing but it is a work in progress. I’m very happy with the performances of some of the guys and we crack on. We have no international white-ball cricket for the next three months so we have time to find out what’s for the future.”

Among the players that Pollard was pleased with was his vice-captain Nicholas Pooran who starred with 184 runs in the three games.

“I thought Nicholas was outstanding. Three fifties in three games is fantastic for him and that’s the consistency that we ask for,” said Pollard.

Pollard’s Mumbai Indians teammate Suryakumar Yadav was India’s best batsman in the series with 107 runs in the three matches. The West Indies captain believes he is someone his batters should try to emulate.

“Surya is a world-class player. I’ve had the opportunity to play a lot of years with him so it’s great to see that he has grown well and is doing great things for himself and great things for India. He’s a 360-degree player and that’s something that our batsmen could try to emulate,” Pollard said.

An important part of a successful T20 outfit is laying out specific roles for specific players and Pollard, while being aware of this, says it’s also important to rotate to give others opportunities.

“I think everyone is clear in their role. Once you get an opportunity to play, you know your role so it’s about getting the experience and understanding what is needed at the international level. We’re not just chopping and changing for the sake of it, guys came in and had specific roles to play. We’re in a position where we have to give guys opportunities,” he said.

 The West Indies next white-ball assignment will a tour of the Netherlands in May-June where they will play three ODIs.

 

 

 

 

West Indies captain Kieron Pollard was encouraged by the batting unit’s approach to Friday’s T20 International against India, even if he was admittedly disappointed with the result.

The West Indies found themselves on the losing side of another series, after going down by 8 runs to India on Friday.  The result saw the South Asian team claim an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series, after winning the opener by 7 wickets.

This time, however, in pursuit of a solid 186 for 5, the team went a lot closer to the target and was more comfortable in the run chase.  A 100-run partnership from Nicholas Pooran and Rovman Powell got the team close to India's score, and, in fact, until a miserly 18th over from Harshal Patel it seemed the West Indies were favourites to level the series.

According to the West Indies captain, while the team may have come up just short on runs, the approach was closer to what was required.

“I thought the partnership with him (Rovman Powell) and Pooran almost got us over the line.  Sometimes that’s all we are asking from the guys to bat as deep as possible and for me, I’m pleased, obviously not with the result but with the way they continue to aim for consistency,” he added.

The partnership was the fourth-highest between two Windies players since 2019, adding to an overall 306 scored in 6 matches, whenever the duo of Powell and Pooran has come together during that time.

“Nicholas got another half-century, Powell has gotten two in the last four games, so, we are making progress.”

Despite a 100-run fourth-wicket partnership between Nicholas Pooran and Rovman Powell, the West Indies lost the second T20 International against India by eight runs at Eden Gardens on Friday. The loss means India takes an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

Windies vice-captain Nicholas Pooran insists the team must find a coherent strategy to deal with India’s spinners after being caught in two minds in the opening match of the T20 series.

In the end, the West Indies were comfortably beaten by six wickets but at one point seemed set for a higher total than the 157 for 7 that the team eventually posted.  At 72 for 2, at the start of the 10th over, the West Indies had a set Pooran and Roston Chase at the crease and seemed set to build on a solid enough foundation.

 The introduction of leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi, however, threw a wrench into those plans as he immediately removed Chase who struggled to come to grips with the spinner before being dismissed for lbw.  Bishnoi, who ended with 2 for 17, then removed the dangerous Rovman Powell later in the over.  The debutant was the chief but not the team’s only issue as Yuzvendra Chahal had also proven difficult to get away on occasion.

“We played the spinners ok today, we would want to continue that and continue to build partnerships,” Pooran told members of the media following the match.

“We still need to negotiate the spinners a bit better, I think today we were caught in two minds how to go about them.  Whether to attack them or keep them out of the game and we got caught in both minds there.”

Pooran top-scored for the Windies with 65.

 

India have taken a 1-0 T20I series lead over the West Indies after a six-wicket victory in Wednesday's first test in Kolkata.

It was not always plain sailing for India, but in the end they closed out a comfortable victory that owed much to captain Rohit Sharma, debutant Ravi Bishnoi and Suryakumar Yadav.

West Indies had earlier reached 157-7 over their 20 overs, an innings that began poorly as Brandon King fell for just four to Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1-31) in the first over – though Kyle Mayers (31) and Nicholas Pooran (61) soon found the tourists some momentum.

After their respective wickets, West Indies really struggled to build up a head of steam again. Bishnoi (2-17) claimed the scalps of Roston Chase (four) and Rovman Powell (two) as the 21-year-old enjoyed a miserly outing on his debut.

Kieron Pollard (24 not out) at least restored a little dignity, but he had little help around him, thus setting India a reachable target.

Rohit's 40 off 19 gave India the start they needed, and Ishan Kishan (35 off 42) proved a solid – if pragmatic – partner until both were undone by Chase's (2-14) bowling.

Fabian Allen (1-23) and Sheldon Cottrell (1-35) then saw to Virat Kohli (17) and Rishabh Pant (eight), respectively, with both batsmen feeling somewhat aggrieved by the decisions.

But any suggestion of West Indies still having a chance were emphatically washed away by Suryakumar (34 not out) and Venkatesh Iyer (24 not out), who eased the hosts over the line at 162-4 with seven balls to spare.

Bishnoi makes his mark

Bishnoi initially looked nervous, throwing three wides in his first over. But he quickly adjusted his focus, posting impressive numbers as he dismissed Chase and Powell.

Speaking afterwards, he said: "The nerves are settled now. I was feeling very good, it's everyone's dream to play for India and I was feeling good. West Indies is one of the best T20 teams and I got the chance to play against them. I'll try to cut down on the wides in the next match!"

Pooran's efforts in vain

Were it not for Pooran's efforts, this would have been an even worse start to the three-match series for the Windies. His 61 with the bat was undoubtedly the highlight of their innings, with Pollard very aware that his side were otherwise disappointing.

Pollard said: "Getting down to the 19th over was good on the part of the bowlers. If I'm being honest, between overs six to 15 we scored too few runs. We were 15-20 runs short."

Cricket West Indies (CWI)has offered congratulations to the West Indies players chosen in the auction of the Indian Premier League (IPL) which was conducted in Bengaluru on Saturday and Sunday.

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