The Star (Jamaica)

Pooran named new WI white-ball captain

- ST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC):

Cricket West Indies has appointed Nicholas Pooran as the new white-ball captain, the left-handed batting star set to oversee the Caribbean side’s navigation of two major Internatio­nal Cricket Council tournament­s.

The 26-year-old, who has played 37 One-Day Internatio­nals and 57 Twenty20 Internatio­nals, replaces fellow Trinidadia­n Kieron Pollard who abruptly retired from internatio­nal cricket last month.

Pooran will now guide West Indies in their campaigns at this year’s T20 World Cup in Australia and next year’s 50over World Cup in India, and will likely have Shai Hope as his deputy after the 28-year-old was recommende­d for the role as vice-captain.

“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,” said director of cricket, Jimmy Adams.

“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.”

With Pollard missing through injury, Pooran led West Indies to a T20 series win over Australia in the Caribbean last year and also was at the helm for a humbling whitewash away to Pakistan last December.

Overall, he has led West Indies in eight T20s and two ODIs – both coming earlier this year in Ahmedabad when the tourists also suffered a 3-0 whitewash.

“I am truly honoured to be appointed captain of the West Indies team,” said Pooran, who is currently plying his trade for Sunrisers

Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League.

“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.”

His first task will be to lead West Indies on a three-match ODI tour of the Netherland­s at month end, followed by a similar series away to Pakistan in Rawalpindi in June.

Pooran averages 27 in T20s with a strike rate of nearly 129 and boasts an average of 40 in ODIs.

“Nicholas Pooran is a specially gifted cricketer, and the right person to take over the white-ball captaincy,” said CWI president, Ricky Skerritt.

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