Pooran eager for World Cup debut
SOUTHAMPTON, England (CMC):
Rookie Nicholas Pooran hopes fulfilling his dream of playing in a World Cup coincides with a successful campaign for the Windies.
The 23-year-old was selected for the May 30 to July 14 ICC showpiece after only a single One-Day International (ODI) – in which he failed to score – against England back in February this year.
“To be honest I would love to do special things for West Indies cricket,” the left-hander said.
“We have a really good bunch of guys now, a lot of young talent and we’re definitely looking forward to the World Cup. Not just myself but I know everyone else in the team is looking forward to a successful World Cup.
“It’s been a while since West Indies won the 50-over World Cup but we’re confident and once you’re confident anything can happen. It would definitely be a lift to the people back home. We have a lot of passionate fans and I know they’re going to get behind us and they’re going to support us.
“We’re going to try our best and try to bring this home.”
The Windies won the first two World Cups in 1975 and 1979 under the legendary Clive Lloyd and were losing finalists in the 1983 tournament, but have failed to make the grade every since.
They will enter this World Cup under the radar somewhat, with their unflattering record in recent years leading pundits to rule them out as serious contenders.
Pooran, though, believes if the Windies play strong cricket, any outcome would be possible.
“I’m very excited. It’s my first World Cup and my dream was always to play for West Indies at a World Cup,” he said.
“Hopefully we can be successful as a team. Hopefully at the end of the day if we do the right things we can be successful so I’m definitely looking forward to it.”
Pooran is an aggressive batsman who has the ability to score quickly. In 11 T20 Internationals, he has already notched two half-centuries, and this year landed a contract with Kings XI Punjab in the lucrative Indian Premier League.
He also scored heavily in the Super50 Cup West Indies domestic tournament last October to grab the attention of selectors.
“I’ve worked hard over the last year and over the last couple years and my performances spoke for themselves,” said the Trinidadian.
“I wasn’t too surprised [about my selection] but I was really happy to be part of the squad. At the end of the day for me it was all about hard work … and I am just happy to be selected.”