Trinidadian wicketkeeper batsman Nicholas Pooran may not yet be a household name in world cricket, but yet is the operative word.
Yorkshire have signed, on a short-term deal, a left-hander who is starting to turn heads, including at the ongoing ICC World Cup for the West Indies, where he scored a tournament high 63 in defeat against England earlier this month.
Pooran, 23-years-old, will play in the first five Vitality Blast North Group games, a deal which is sandwiched in between international commitments.
A left-hander with limited international experience – he is yet to play 20 matches for the island nation – he has extensive experience in the domestic leagues around the world, including the Indian Premier League.
Pooran is an aggressive batsman, but one who finds and clears the ropes with a languid, eye-catching style in keeping with the calypso reputation that follows West Indian Cricket.
In late 2018, he was the top-scorer in the T10 League in the UAE, scoring 324 runs from nine matches for champions Northern Warriors.
Pooran made his T20 debut in the 2013 Caribbean Premier League for Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel, his first of 102 career T20s to date. Red Steel were beaten finalists that year, but they qualified for the subsequent Champions League event.
He has since moved to play for Barbados Tridents in the CPL, also featuring in the Bangladesh Premier League, the Pakistan Super League and the IPL, making seven appearances for Kings XI Punjab at the start off this summer through April and May. He posted top-scores of 46, 48 and 36, batting as low as seven and as high as three in the order.
Pooran has batted in the middle order for the West Indies in T20s since debuting in 2016, scoring two fifties in eleven matches. He debuted in ODI cricket against England in Barbados in March, posting a four-ball duck in defeat and was out to Adil Rashid. Things have improved markedly since.
Pooran, who has also played club cricket in Canada, played his first three first-class matches for Trinidad and Tobago in 2014, but he hasn’t played in that format since.
Despite that, he recently insisted that he is more than a T20 specialist: “My job is to play cricket,” he said. “It does not matter which format. I’m not rushing anything, I’m just trying to get better and better each day. I back myself to do that.
“My dream was always to play cricket professionally and represent the West Indies at a World Cup someday. It feels wonderful. I just learned a lot from T20 cricket, and now my chance is to play ODI cricket.”
Compared to Chris Gayle by his IPL coach Mike Hesson, the former New Zealand coach, Pooran counts himself extremely lucky to be playing the game.
Three years ago, he was involved in a car accident in Trinidad which left him in a wheelchair for four months and was told by his specialist that his return to the game wasn’t guaranteed.
He smashed into a sand heap at the side of the road and was hit by a car from behind. His toes, knee and ankle were all damaged, forcing surgery.
“The accident has changed the way I live my life,” he said. “I am very thankful to be on the cricket field again. You never know what is going to happen when you wake up in the morning.”
BornOctober 2, 1995, Trinidad
First ClassLeeward Islands v Trinidad & Tobago at Basseterre, Nov 21-24, 2014
Available to sponsor. Call our sponsorship team on 0113 2033 671 for more details.