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Nicholas Pooran: A player to look out for in 2021

West Indies' Nicholas Pooran
West Indies' Nicholas Pooran
©Reuters
 

With ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia 2020 being postponed and next ICC Men’s T20 World Cup tournaments are scheduled as follows -

ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 will be held October – November 2021 with the final on 14 November 2021

ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 will be held October – November 2022 with the final on 13 November 2022

All eyes will be on the performances of the T20I white ball specialists leading up to the World Cup in 2021 and one of the players to look out for in 2021 is Nicholas Pooran.

Born in Trinidad and Tobago, Nicholas Pooran played for his school team of Naparima College in San Fernando. He showed early signs of his talent when he made a debut for the U-19 Team at only 16 years of age. At the 2014 U-19 World Cup, he was appointed the Vice Captain of the team and performed effectively. He amassed 303 runs from 6 games in the tournament and was ranked number 4 in terms of top run getters in the World Cup. The tournament is often remembered for his stand of 136 runs for the 9th wicket partnership with Barbadian Jerome Jones against Australia. Nicholas Pooran struck 143 runs in the match under extreme pressure and impressed cricket lovers all around the world.

He carried his Under-19 form to competitive T20 Cricket and in the inaugural 2013 season of Caribbean Premier League, he smashed 54 runs off 24 deliveries in his debut match against Guyana Amazon Warriors. He was noted for his clean and calm stroke play. The world could not wait to see this young talent donning the national colours.

The Accident and Injuries:

An unfortunate incident in 2015 put Pooran’s career in doubt before it even began properly. He met with a car accident and suffered a chronic ankle injury,which put him out of action for almost two years. In Pooran’s own words, "I was coming back home from training, driving. I was close to home and a car was overtaking another car, so I pulled away. I hit a sand heap and then I came back onto the road and another vehicle hit me.

"My left patellar tendon had ruptured and I had a fractured right ankle. I couldn't straighten my leg. At first, I didn't really know what happened. I wasn't too sure. People kept telling me, 'Move your toes, move your toes!' I knew I couldn't move my knee, so I knew something's definitely wrong. The first thing I asked the doctors was if I could play cricket again. At first they weren't too sure until they did the surgery. They did a wonderful surgery. Everything, thank God, everything came back to normal.”

If you had spun the wheel at AspireCasinos.com you may have had more luck than predicting whether Pooran would play cricket again, however, he was destined to do so.

 

Recovery and Comeback:

Nicholas Pooran returned to professional cricket with an authoritative run tally of 217 in eight games in the CPL 2016 season. This led to his maiden call up for T20I against Pakistan later in the year. A few consistent performances and Pooran found himself banned for 10 months, after giving preference to Bangladesh Premier League over domestic season.

However, he made up for the absence and came up trumps, with the bat, playing for West Indies B team in the Global T20 Tournament held in Canada in 2018.

Savage Monster:

During a pre-match press meet ,in Manchester, during the Cricket World Cup 2019, Chris Gayle made a statement that turned heads. He said, “Check out for Nicholas Pooran. He is a Savage Monster”. Pooran indeed proved himself worthy of the compliment shared by the Universe Boss in CWC 2019. In a league game against Sri Lanka, West Indies were chasing a mammoth total of 338 and were reduced to 199 for 6 at one point. Nicholas Pooran was the lone warrior as he smashed Sri Lankan bowlers to all parts of the ground for his 118 off 103 balls and almost won the game for West Indies before getting dismissed by Angelo Matthews. The world noticed his ability to take the game deep single handedly and West Indies found a new hero for the team. He finished the 2019 Cricket World Cup with 367 runs under his belt.

 

Post Cricket World Cup:

Based on his CWC performance, Nicholas Pooran was offered a central contract from West Indies Cricket Board for the upcoming 2019-2020 season and he performed very well with the bat in the West Indies tour of Sri Lanka in early 2020.

 

IPL 2020:

Pooran’s clean hitting ability makes him a perfect purchase for any Franchise in the IPL and Kings 11 Punjab seemed to have hit the jackpot with his signing. Pooran made 353 runs in the tournament with an average of 35.30 and maintained a phenomenal strike rate of 169.71 throughout. Apart from his batting heroics, he is also remembered for his breath-taking and gravity defying boundary save against Rajasthan Royals. It was one of the best efforts at the boundary in a long time.   

Nicholas Pooran is now representing Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League in Australia. He is one of the most exciting players to feature in the tournament and hopefully he will be able to entertain the Australian Crowds with his nonchalant swings over the mid wicket boundary.

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