Sun | Oct 24, 2021

Pooran backs Gayle T20 WC selection

Published:Thursday | October 14, 2021 | 12:07 AMLennox Aldred/Gleaner Writer
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West Indies vice-captain Nicholas Pooran has come out in defence of the selection of Chris Gayle for the West Indies’ Twenty20 (T20) World Cup(WC) squad. Pooran, speaking from the team’s training base in Dubai, described Gayle as a special human...

West Indies vice-captain Nicholas Pooran has come out in defence of the selection of Chris Gayle for the West Indies’ Twenty20 (T20) World Cup(WC) squad.

Pooran, speaking from the team’s training base in Dubai, described Gayle as a special human being and one who is very important to the team’s chances of defending their World T20 title.

There has been criticism regarding Gayle’s selection, with the latest comments coming from former West Indies fast bowler Sir Curtly Ambrose, which has garnered the attention of the ‘Universe Boss’ himself.

Ambrose said Gayle would not be an automatic pick in the West Indies starting eleven at the tournament, and Gayle responded on Tuesday, saying that he has ‘no respect for Ambrose whatsoever’.

SECOND TO NONE

Following the latest row, Pooran says that Gayle’s presence is second to none.

“Not many players know how to win T20 games or even T20 leagues,” Pooran said. “That experience is very valuable for us because you don’t get that just so. We are very happy to have him, even off the cricket field because he is someone who will support you and back you 100 per cent.”

Pooran said that Gayle’s experience could be crucial, with the Windies facing England and South Africa in their first two group games on October 23 and 26, respectively.

“With the factor of Chris Gayle being in a team and the eleven, that changes a captain’s plan, because 14,000 T20 runs don’t just come so,” Pooran said. “He is a special human being and only when you play cricket with him and against him, you know how it feels to have him around.”

Pooran made it clear that he was not concerned about his questionable form heading into the World Cup with the Trinidadian wrapping up his Indian Premier League stint with just 85 runs at an average of 7.72.

“I’m not concerned at all,” he said. “My cricket is based on confidence and my intent. I came and did [decently] in the last three series for West Indies and CPL (Caribbean Premier League). It’s about my process, continuing to believe in my process, having faith in my process, and my confidence is very high. I have no doubts in my mind that I can execute my game plan and do [well] for the team.”

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