Eager Thomas goes 'back to basics' at Sagicor HPC
Bridgetown, Barbados – Wicket-keeper Devon Thomas is on a mission. The 21-year-old is looking to rebuild his game and his main aim is to make a return to the West Indies team. He recently checked into the Sagicor High Performance Centre at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies to start the second semester of his one year stint. He will be using the three month period to improve his game and enhance his skills in case the selectors call on him again. Late last year, Thomas was selected as understudy to Carlton Baugh for the West Indies Test Series in Sri Lanka. Earlier this year when Baugh suffered an injury at the ICC Cricket World Cup in Asia, Thomas was called up as the replacement. The shoe was on the other foot in April, when Thomas was named in the team for the Digicel Series ODIs against Pakistan, but was diagnosed with chicken pox. He was replaced by Baugh. “I started at the Sagicor HPC last year and that really helped me with my game. I got some wonderful opportunities to play in the West Indies team but I did not do as well as I had hoped,” Thomas explained. Some things are a bit below where I know I should be so I know I have to keep putting in the hard work and work my way back up to the top level. I would like to make it to the highest level (West Indies team) again so I have come back here, to go back to the basics and try to work on my game and try to work out my weaknesses,” Thomas said. “As a batsman, my aim is to put more runs on the board for the team and make a greater contribution in front the stumps. As a keeper, you always have to be in the game and keep the team motivated. A good keeper is crucial to any team and I’m working to improve all my skills.” Looking back at his World Cup experience, Thomas said: “I got a lot of good advice from the other members of the team and the support staff. It was the World Cup, the biggest stage in world cricket, and I was eager to do well. I was a bit nervous at the start but I quickly got accustomed to the environment and I relaxed and tried to give my best to the team. “Overall it was a great experience for me and gave me a good idea of the level I need to be at to play in the West Indies team for a long time. Every player’s dream is to have a long and successful career in the West Indies shirt so at the moment I’m working my way to reaching that level. Thomas praised the structure at the Sagicor HPC and said the attention to detail and the support of fellow players and the support staff is crucial. “Being here is a great help for me. It has allowed me to play the game on a daily basis and get to know myself a lot better. We have a really good thing going here among all the players. I like it here. The programme has a really good structure and it’s hard work but that’s the road to success.” Thomas said it has been good working with the new Bating Coach Carl Hooper, the former Guyana and West Indies captain who joined Sagicor HPC earlier this month. “He's very cool and has a calming influence on everyone. He’s speaks to you a lot and outline the things you need to work on. It’s just a matter of us as players taking in what he has to offer as we try to improve in all areas of our game,” he said.