Middle-order batsman Nicholas Pooran will succeed Kieron Pollard as West Indies’ One-day International (ODI) and T20 captain, according to a release issued today by Cricket West Indies.
Last month, the 34-year-old Pollard retired suddenly from West Indies service . However, Pooran, 26, served as his Trinidad and Tobago compatriot’s T20I understudy and deputised as team leader on occasion—including for the West Indies’ T20I series win against Australia at home in 2021.
And although wicketkeeper-batsman Shai Hope rather than Pooran was the West Indies ODI vice-captain, Cricket West Indies (CWI) director Jimmy Adams said the selection panel, headed by Sir Desmond Haynes, opted to stick with its recent practice of having one captain for both white ball teams. Pooran was their choice.
Pooran’s first outing as captain will be away to The Netherlands in a three-match ODI series starting on 31 May at Amstelveen, which forms part of the ICC World Cup Super League.
Hope will continue as the West Indies’ ODI vice-captain while the selectors have not yet decided on a T20 deputy.
“We believe Nicholas is ready for the challenge of leading our white ball teams given his experience, performances, and the respect he has within the playing group,” Adams told CWI Media. “The selection panel believes that Nicholas has matured as a player and they were impressed with his leadership of both teams when Kieron Pollard had been absent. The experience he has gathered playing in various franchise leagues around the world was also a factor in the decision to recommend him for the T20 captaincy.”
CWI president Ricky Skerritt hailed Pooran as ‘the right person’ for the job.
“Nicholas Pooran is a specially gifted cricketer, and the right person to take over the white ball captaincy,” said Skerritt. “We are confident that he will continue to climb the leadership learning curve speedily and successfully. I appeal to all West Indies cricket stakeholders to give Nicholas the support and encouragement that he deserves.”
Pooran, who bats left-handed, has one ODI century and eight half-centuries to his name at an average of 40.03 and a strike rate of 98.85. In T20I’s, he has eight half-centuries at an average of 27.74 and a strike rate of 128.97.
He burst on to the global scene at the 2014 ICC Men’s Under-19 Cricket World Cup where he scored 303 runs from six matches, while he debuted for the senior West Indies team against Pakistan in 2016, at the age of 20.
CWI said Pooran’s appointment will include the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup later this year and the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in October 2023.
Pooran said he was ‘truly honoured’ at his promotion to the post of West Indies captain.
“I am following the footsteps of several giants of the game who have created an amazing legacy for West Indies cricket,” he said. “This is indeed a prestigious role, a pivotal position in the West Indian society, as cricket is the force that brings us all West Indians together.
“To be named captain is indeed the highlight of my career so far and I want to drive the team forward to accomplish great things on the field for our fans and loyal supporters.”