By Neto Baptiste
Legendary West Indies batsman Sir Vivian Richards believes that the young and explosive Nicholas Pooran is the right man to lead the current crop of West Indies players in the white ball format after the Trinidadian was recently named captain of both the ODI and T20 squads.
“There wasn’t any other choice in my opinion. I think the young man is pretty studious about what he wants to get done. He takes his cricket pretty studiously and I am a fan of Nicholas Pooran. Early in his career I guess there was some immaturity … but having been through the mill and where he’s at now, I think he is the perfect choice as captain,” he said.
Pooran replaces the outgoing Kieron Pollard who announced his retirement late April, much to the surprise of many cricket fans.
Pollard, although a feared T20 cricketer, his numbers for the West Indies remain underwhelming with only 2,706 runs at just above an average of 26, and 55 wickets from 123 ODIs, along with 1,569 runs from 101 T20Is at an average of 25.3. He also took 44 wickets.
Sir Viv said the Trinidadian has served the regional squad well and that his decision is respected.
“I guess he has felt like he’s had enough and I think he has done magnificent service to the West Indies’ cause. I have always been a fan and I say that because we were responsible for getting these guys involved, starting with the Stanford tournament where we [legends] were given the mandate to select these individuals. He was one of the guys who went on and just achieved great things and not just for his teams he would have played with around the world, but also for the West Indies team,” he said.
Pooran previously led the sides in Pollard’s absence and has played 37 ODIs and 57 T20Is for West Indies, scoring 1,121 and 1,193 runs respectively. He has one century to his name in international cricket.
Pooran will lead the side as the full-time white-ball captain for the first time in the three-match away ODI series against Netherlands, which will be a part of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League.
The new captain will lead team in ODIs on May 31, June 2 and 4 in the Netherlands, followed by another three ODIs on June 8, 10 and 12 in Pakistan.