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Sunday, December 4, 2022
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Sunday, December 4, 2022
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    West Indies hopes at T20 World Cup rest on dazzling Pooran

    ST JOHN’S (AFP) – When Nicholas Pooran was named captain of the West Indies white-ball sides in May he spoke of his desire to “drive the team forward to accomplish great things”.

    His first real opportunity comes next week at the Twenty20 (T20) World Cup in Australia when the two-time champions look to atone for a disappointing 2021 edition.

    The chances of a third Caribbean triumph will rest largely on the shoulders of Pooran, who turned 27 earlier this month and took over as skipper from Kieron Pollard.

    Pooran is a dazzlingly destructive batsman who has lit up just about every franchise competition around the world over the last few years.

    West Indies Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams cited that varied franchise experience – competitions in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, England, Canada, Australia and Hong Kong as well as the West Indies – as “a factor” behind his appointment.

    At the end of September Pooran’s international appeal was underlined when he was unveiled as the “Icon Player” for Deccan Gladiators in the Abu Dhabi T10, which follows the T20 World Cup.

    Pooran’s pedigree stems from his Trinidad upbringing.

    The island has a rich history of talent dating back to the grandfather of West Indies cricket, Learie Constantine.

    More recently, Brian Lara tore up the record books in Test cricket with his elegance, punch and patience.

    “I am following the footsteps of several giants of the game who have created an amazing legacy for West Indies cricket,” said Pooran when he was made captain.

    Like Lara, Pooran is a left-hander and the pair both measure up at 1.73-metre, but it would be hard to stretch the comparisons beyond that.

    While Lara played 131 Tests – top score 400 not out – and 299 ODIs, he played not a single T20 international. Pooran, by contrast, has played nearly 70 T20s and 52 ODIs but not a single Test.

    Since making his T20 debut in 2016, he has crashed 82 sixes and maintained a strike rate of 130.17. His ODI credentials include a maiden century against Sri Lanka in the 2019 World Cup.

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