Sun | May 26, 2019

Powell: This is a dream come true - Youngster ready for challenge after being named interim Windies ODI skipper

Published:Wednesday | December 5, 2018 | 12:00 AMAndre Lowe/ Sports Editor

A mere two years after making his international debut, Jamaican all-rounder Rovman Powell is living his dream.

The twenty-five-year-old was appointed to lead the West Indies in their upcoming three-match One-Day International (ODI) series in Bangladesh against the host nation.

In an interview with The Gleaner yesterday, Powell, who only made his inter-national debut on November 16, 2016, in an ODI against Sri Lanka in Harare, shared that he was extremely proud of the accomplishment and is looking forward to the challenge ahead.

"To be honest, to be appointed interim captain of the West Indies is definitely a good feeling," Powell said. "As a youngster, that has always been a dream, to lead the West Indies, and to see it playing out now, it's given me a very good feeling. It's definitely an accomplishment and an achievement that I am personally proud of."

Powell, who has 31 ODIs under his belt, gets his opportunity in the absence of regular captain Jason Holder, who is still recovering from a shoulder injury. He has also represented the region in 17 Twenty20 Internationals.

"It's (the appointment) not entirely a surprise," Powell shared. "Things have happened fast, but it's the nature of international sports. Things come at you fast, and it's how you react to things."

Powell only made his first-class debut in 2015, so it's no surprise that he is yet to test his mettle as a captain at this level, but as they have shown with Holder's appointment at 23 years and 72 days, Cricket West Indies is quite happy to hand the reins to its youth.

Nevertheless, Powell is confident of a positive experience and says he feels the support of the board.

"It will be a challenging three-match series, but I am optimistic and positive that we will get good results this time around. Every team is strong at home, and Bangladesh are definitely strong at home. Once we get our combinations right and put proper plans in place, then I don't see why we should not beat Bangladesh," said Powell, whose assurance seemed to ignore the recent innings, and 84-run defeat suffered in the second and final Test.

"I have had some discussions with the selection panel and the director of cricket (Jimmy Adams), and they are in full support of me. They realise that I have some leadership qualities, and apart from the India tour, my career was going good, so they saw that and made a decision in making me vice-captain of the team, and now that Jason Holder is injured, the portfolio of captaincy comes on my shoulders," Powell said.

Meanwhile, Jamaica Cricket Association CEO Courtney Francis welcomed the news of Powell's appointment.

"Players learn, grow and develop every day. Powell clearly has impressed the selectors and his teammates. This is great news for him and his career. Captaincy is a tough challenge, but Jamaicans are generally resilient people, and I'm sure he welcomes the challenge of added responsibility," said Francis.

"Rovman is taking the reins as interim skipper in the midst of a tough period for the Windies, but what better time to test the true mettle of a man than in the midst of a storm?

"I certainly wish him, and by extension, the Windies team, every success in the upcoming games. Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean want [them] to excel every time they take the pitch," added Francis.

Powell is the 29th individual to be named West Indies men's ODI captain.