Pooran takes us back to his 143 – “an amazing knock in Dubai”
Cricket West Indies (CWI) will host the ICC Men’s Under-19 Cricket World Cup from January 14 to February 5, 2022. The 14th edition of the premier age-group event will feature 16 teams in four groups with matches to be played in Trinidad & Tobago, Antigua & Barbuda, St Kitts & Nevis, and Guyana. In the build-up to the tournament, we will share several feature articles with players and officials, who represented West Indies in Youth ODIs and Youth Tests.
Nicholas Pooran made a huge impact. The left-handed batter, who recently led the West Indies T20I team on Pakistan, played one of the most amazing knocks in West Indies U19 history. Back on February 23, 2014 at the ICC U19 World Cup in United Arab Emirates he first gained notice by Caribbean cricket public scoring 143 versus Australia. It was the ultimate solo show as he lit up the Dubai Stadium with six sixes and 14 fours. He was last man out when West Indies were bowled out for 208.
“I feel that this innings is one of my best innings alongside the one in the 50 overs World Cup 2019 (118 versus Sri Lanka). It was a stepping stone for me and one of my proudest moments, especially setting goals at a U19 level of wanting to be one of the best batsmen coming out of that tournament and I achieved that goal although the team unfortunately got knocked out in the quarter-finals,” said Pooran.
“I can still remember the disbelief of how I scored that century that day – but it happened. So, my message to younger guys is that this is a wonderful opportunity they are getting here now, those who do well at U19 level they do get that push and the world recognizes their talent very fast and that's the first step in international cricket.
Pooran added: “If you get that push after the U19 World Cup it's fine, as a player it's definitely satisfying. But if you don't that's ok as well – it will just open your eyes as a player of where you are at that age and where you need to be.”
Now aged 26 with international experience under his belt, he gave the young players his commitment that despite the hectic upcoming schedule the senior team will have, he will find time to watch and support them during the World Cup.
“Definitely I’ll be watching, since I want to see who the next stars of West Indies cricket could be. It's going to be a very exciting tournament that's going to be played at home. They will have a lot of support via social media – we hope you guys make us proud, we are 100 percent being you, so play your roles and enjoy it,” Pooran said.
“It’s a great opportunity for this crop of U19 guys to be successful for themselves and the team and it will be wonderful if they can win another U19 title. I hope the guys are ready to fight because it's going to be an enjoyable and challenging tournament especially here in the Caribbean.”