Uncapped West Indians hungry to make their mark

Guyana Amazon Warriors v Jamaica Tallawahs - Hero Caribbean Premier League - Match 9Fast bowler Kesrick Williams, allrounder Rovman Powell and wicketkeeper-batsman Nicholas Pooran, the uncapped players in West Indies’ T20 squad for the three-match series against Pakistan in the UAE, have spoken of their desire to make their mark in international cricket.

“It is really fantastic to be called up for the West Indies team; something every young man would dream about, to play international cricket,” Williams said on the eve of the first T20I. “The determination is there, I am just ready to go, execute, and put my name out there in international cricket.”

Pooran was excited at the prospect of playing with World T20 winners such as his captain Carlos Brathwaite. “It’s a dream come true,” he said. “I always thought I will play for West Indies when I was 21. I am 20 at the moment. While I was a youngster, I watched these guys win two World Cups. It’s an amazing achievement for me. Just trying to take the opportunity and make the full use of it.”

Powell also said representing West Indies was a “dream”. “Getting the call from Courtney Browne was one of the happiest days of my life,” he said. “Representing West Indies at any level is something that I dream about. The dream has come to a reality.”

While Williams did not bat or bowl in the warm-up match against an Emirates Cricket Board XIon Tuesday, Powell and Pooran staked their claim for spots in the opening T20I. They overcame a top-order wobble with a 52-run partnership for the fifth wicket at a run rate of 10.40. Pooran was the leader, scoring seven boundaries, of which two sailed out of the ground.

“That innings was needed by me for my self-confidence and for the team,” Pooran said. “It [The sixes] was satisfying. I am a bit disappointed that I didn’t get more. I will take it at the end of the day.”

Powell said that having clarity was key to that stand. “The thought process was simple, just get used to the conditions in Dubai,” he said. “I just stuck to the basics, when the ball comes in my area, I get a start and expand my range.”

Pooran had come into the spotlight when he played the innings of the Under-19 World Cup at the same venue in 2014. He struck 143 off 160 balls, which lifted West Indies 70 for 8 to 208. Of the 23 boundaries in West Indies’ innings, Pooran hit 20.

“I have good memories of Dubai. I expect to do something special again here. I am looking forward to the challenge,” he said.

Powell, who has also been selected in the West Indies A squad for the List A matches in Sri Lanka, was wary of high expectations. “When you set targets and set expectations, sometimes you set up for failures,” he said. “What I do is try to play the conditions.” (Courtesy ESPN Cricinfo)