June 18, 2011

West Indies cricket

Sheldon Cotterell: Up close with a dream

Nikita Bastian

It’s been an exciting few days for military man Sheldon Cotterell. A left-arm fast bowler from Jamaica, he got as close to the international cricket action as he could, standing guard at Sabina Park’s pitch with other army personnel during the innings break of the final West Indies-India ODI. The experience left him picturing himself “in the maroon colours”. Then, a couple of days later, he did that fantasy no harm, making several of India’s Test team jump around in the nets ahead of the tour’s opening Test at the same venue.

“It was just like me seeing the future to tell you the truth,” Cotterell, 21, told the Jamaica Gleaner of his time out in the middle during the ODI. “Just being out there and seeing the fans gave me a thrill and seeing the West Indies and Indian team warming up. When I was out there I was picturing myself in the maroon colours warming up with the guys.”

On Saturday, he had a bowl in the nets against India and had opener M Vijay in trouble, hitting him on the left hand. While Vijay was attended to by India’s physio, Cotterell impressed with his pace, troubling nearly all the Indian batsmen, ESPNcricinfo’s Sriram Veera reported from Kingston.

Cotterell, who has been playing cricket from the age of nine, bats right-handed and does so as effectively as he bowls. He was the top all-rounder with 317 runs in the 2010 edition of the Senior Cup, a domestic tournament. This season, he made 173 runs in three innings in the competition. What next, then? Well, he’s working towards breaking into the West Indies team within 18 months.

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Nikita Bastian is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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