Cricket

Nicholas Pooran interview: Young Windies 'keeper-batsman on 10-month ban, IPL experience and competition

  • Colin Benjamin
  • August 19th, 2017
  • 21:25:33 IST

Nicholas Pooran has set out to prove he is a cricketer capable of playing in all formats, after having his ban from playing cricket in the West Indies lifted.

The talented 21 year-old wicketkeeper-batsman who received much praise from AB De Villiers and Mumbai Indians coach Robin Singh during the 2016 Caribbean Premier League (CPL) was controversially banned by Cricket West Indies for 10 months for playing in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) ahead of 2016-17 West Indies domestic season.

File photo of Nicholas Pooran. Image courtesy: Twitter/@nicholas_47

File photo of Nicholas Pooran. Image courtesy: Twitter/@nicholas_47

"It was a tough year for me because of the ban, but I accept those challenges in life," Pooran said.

"CPL is a new chapter for me, I want to do the best I could to get back on the West Indies Twenty20 team as a first step, so this is a big opportunity for me to address the selectors once more.

"CPL is an exciting tournament. Last year I did well. Past five months I been training very hard, now it's time I go on the field and make some runs," the young wicketkeeper-batsman added.

While unable to play in domestic competitions in the West Indies, Pooran got rich experience being involved most notably with Indian Premier League (IPL) champions Mumbai Indians, with Khulna Titans in the BPL and a T20 tournament in Hong Kong.

"Although I was suspended from West Indies cricket in past 10 months, I got opportunities to go all over the world. The IPL experience was one of my dreams coming through. It was priceless and I learnt a lot there.

"The type of players I was able to interact with, meeting Sachin (Tendulkar), it was new to me and I learnt a lot, although I was not playing a lot of cricket, Pooran said.

Arguably the biggest thing the young West Indian learnt during his time in Mumbai was working on his glovework with former Indian wicketkeeper-batsman Kiran More.

The effects of this was on this display during a recent CPL match on 10 August against the St Lucia Stars, when he took an acrobatic one-hand diving catch to dismiss Shane Watson.

"When I was in India, I spent a lot of time with former India 'keeper Kiran Moore. I did a lot of drills, and worked hard. My legs are stronger now than last year, and I have been keen to use what I learnt since returning from the IPL in current and upcoming match situations.

In his absence, the West Indies have used Shai Hope, Shane Dorwich and Chadwick Walton as wicketkeepers with varying degrees of success.

The experienced Denesh Ramdin remains an option and Pooran is focused on just keep performing so that the selectors are forced to pick him in ahead of his competitors.

"To be honest, I am just focused on making runs. Once I do that, the selectors will have to fit me in somehow," said Pooran.

"Obviously I've tended to bat in top order a lot most of my life, coming from youth cricket to this point, but I am happy to bat anywhere the team may require me to if picked again soon."

Updated Date: August 19, 2017 21:25:33 IST

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