Powell to resume cricket career
Barbara Ellington, Lifestyle Editor
FORMER Jamaica and West Indies power-hitting batsman, Ricardo Powell, is ready to return to cricket.
Speaking exclusively with The Gleaner yesterday, Powell, who is currently in the island on business, said he plans to start training on Monday in his adopted homeland, Trinidad and Tobago.
"Something is missing from West Indies cricket, it's not getting better, we need to build it back," said the 31-year-old ace fielder and entertaining batsman.
He revealed that he has already met with the West Indies Cricket Board chairman of selectors, Clyde Butts, and told the T&T captain, Daren Ganga, about his intentions. His club, Queen's Park, has also been notified and that is where he will be training next week.
Asked why he decided to return at this time, Powell said he had been giving it some thought for over a year, but his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer last year and those plans were put on hold.
"If I were playing cricket now, I would be a better professional player," said Powell. "I have gained tremendous work ethic from running three successful companies over the last four years."
Asked about the frequent salary squabbles that now dog the team's performance, Powell admitted that back at the height of his career, he too was playing for money, but now, he said "my business can pay my bills, there is a missing piece in West Indies cricket and I want to be part of putting it back".
Powell is giving himself three months to be fully prepared and once he returns, he believes he can put in another five good years of playing before he retires.
Powell is remembered as the youngest West Indian to score a one-day international century. He made 2,000 ODI runs at a strike rate of 98, which is the highest strike rate for a West Indian player with more than 1,000 ODI runs. Healso emulated Gordon Greenidge by hitting eight sixes in an ODI innings against India in 1999 in Singapore - a West Indian ODI record.
Powell also hit seven sixes in another ODI against India in Toronto that same year. In total, he hit 75 sixes in 100 ODI innings, a ratio equal to that of Viv Richards.
Powell moved from his homeland, Jamaica, in 2004 to his wife's native country, Trinidad and Tobago, and retired from cricket in 2006 to concentrate on a career in business. He is the chief executive officer of Basia Imports Ltd - the publishers of Basia Magazine and Basia Sports Magazine, and also heads John Powell Advertising, which produces the very popular 'Basia Talk Show', soon to be aired on local television.
Powell has managed to keep his body game-ready through his efforts as trainer and mentor at the Basia Sports Foundation, which has produced several successful cricket clinics for the very young talent to be found in Trinidad and Tobago.