“Greatest honour of my career”, “Dream come true”—Hope and Powell named WI white-ball captains

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Wicketkeeper/batter Shai Hope and batting allrounder Rovman Powell will lead the West Indies cricket team in the One-Day International (ODI) and T20 formats.

Hope and Powell were confirmed in their respective roles today by the Cricket West Indies. The talented cricketers replace Nicholas Pooran, who quit his post in both roles after the 2022 ICC T20 World Cup.

West Indies opener Shai Hope (left) celebrates a special century in his 100th ODI outing during the CG United Series against India at the Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain on 24 July 2022.
(Copyright Daniel Prentice/ Wired868)

Hope, who served as ODI vice-captain in 2019 and 2022, was selected, according to the CWI Media, “after demonstrating strong leadership on and off the field”.

The 29-year-old Barbadian has played 104ODIs and was selected on the ICC’s 2022 ODI Team of the Year.

He described his promotion as “a tremendous honour and privilege”.

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“To lead a team that is of such incredible significance not only to myself and my teammates but to our legion of fans the world over, is something one dreams of as a child,” said Hope. “The rich history and legacy that our region and our brand of cricket is so famous and loved for, requires no intricate explanation. I would like to thank CWI for entrusting me with this immense opportunity.

“To navigate West Indies cricket in the right direction will be my fundamental priority and a task that I shall be unwaveringly committed to.

Photo: West Indies T20I wicketkeeper Shai Hope (left) attempts to run out Pakistan batsman Mohammad Rizwan during T20I action at the Karachi National Stadium.

“With the support of my team-mates and our dedicated fans, I look forward to a long and fulfilling tenure as captain of the West Indies One-Day International team.”

Powell, a 29-year-old Jamaican, was said to have caught the eye of the CWI’s selectors with his “leadership acumen and tactical ability” during his spell as captain for the Jamaica Tallawahs and Jamaica Scorpions last year.

He led both teams to victory in the 2022 Caribbean Premier League and CG United Super50 Cup respectively. And the former West Indies T20 vice-captain said he was “truly humbled and grateful” at his new mandate.

“For me, this a huge vote of confidence and I see this as the greatest honour of my career,” said Powell. “To be asked to carry the flag for the people of the Caribbean, there’s no bigger role in cricket in the region — a job previously held by some of the greatest servants of West Indies cricket.

Rovman Powell became the third West Indies player to score a century in T20I cricket, when he pummelled England for 107 at Kensington Oval, Barbados on 26 January 2022.
(Copyright CWI Media)

“I also want to thank CWI for allowing me to guide the team in the coming years as we set sights on the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, which we will be jointly hosting with the USA next year. I’m a passionate cricketer who believes in leading from the front and always giving 100%.”

The new captains will have their first assignments in South Africa next month, as the West Indies face the Proteas in three ODIs and three T20Is from 16 to 28 March.

West Indies are expected to face the qualifying rounds for the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup, which starts in June in Zimbabwe. And the Maroon Men co-host the 2024 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, along with the United States.

The CWI Media said Hope and Powell will be “heavily involved in strategy and planning” for the West Indies during the lead up to the next ICC World Cup tournaments.

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