Pooran's triumph

Pooran's triumph

'My dream was always to play cricket professionally'

Sanjay Myers
Sport Reporter
@ ICC Cricket World Cup
In England & Wales

Sunday, June 16, 2019

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SOUTHAMPTON, England — West Indies batsman Nicholas Pooran is happy to be living his “dream” after injuries sustained in a motor vehicle crash four years ago had threatened to end his cricket career.

“It feels good, to be honest. My dream was always to play cricket professionally. Today I'm representing the West Indies at the [ICC] World Cup, and that's something I've always dreamt of,” Pooran, 23, told members of the media during a mixed zone session after West Indies went down by eight wickets to England at Hampshire Bowl on Friday.

The stylish Trinidadian left-hander, walking at four in the batting line-up, made a 78-ball 63 in that loss. Earlier in the tournament he hit cameos of 34 not out (19 deliveries) and 40 (36 deliveries) against Pakistan and Australia, respectively.

But his participation in a senior Cricket World Cup had appeared in jeopardy when the former West Indies Under-19 star was involved in a road accident in Trinidad in January 2015 which left him with a ruptured left patellar tendon (structure linking knee cap to shin bone) and a fractured right ankle.

Separate surgeries were required, and though both were successful, it was a months-long, hard toil through physiotherapy before he was even able to walk again.

His relief is palpable as he plots a path to bringing the Caribbean side to glory in England and Wales.

“It feels wonderful [and] I just want to do my best for the team and make the West Indies people proud,” he said.

The free-scoring batsman noted that his success in Twenty20 (T20) cricket and expertise garnered in the format have provided the basis for the West Indies think tank to have him bat higher in the order than was once the case.

“I'm getting the opportunity to bat earlier, I'm getting the opportunity to bat longer, so it's up to me to make the adjustment because my role is different. The more time I spend at the crease, I'm learning much more.

“I've been playing T20 cricket, I've been getting a lot of experience and I just want to use this experience and bring it into the 50-over format. I just try to adapt as fast as possible, assess a bit more and try to focus and concentrate for a longer period,” he told journalists.

Overall, Pooran has already played 102 T20 games, with 11 of those coming in the West Indies uniform. While he has played five One-Day Internationals, he is yet to play a Test match.

So, is the five-day format on the agenda for this young man who has thrilled spectators in various T20 franchises around the world?

“It's cricket; at the end of the day my job is to play cricket, it doesn't matter which format, but everything happens in its own time. I'm not rushing anything, I'm just trying to get better and better each day,” Pooran replied.

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