West Indies news March 11, 2016

Powell set for return to West Indies first-class cricket

ESPNcricinfo staff

Kieran Powell last played for Leeward Islands in April 2014 © WICB

Opening batsman Kieran Powell looks set for a return to West Indies' first-class cricket competition after a gap of almost two years, after he was picked in Leeward Islands' 13-man squad for the Regional 4-day tournament match against Guyana, which starts from March 11.

Powell last played a first-class match for Leeward Islands in April 2014. He went on to play the Kingston Test against New Zealand in June 2014 but has been out of the West Indies squad since then. In February-March 2015, he played four first-class matches for Tamil Union Cricket and Athletic Club in Sri Lanka's first-class Premier League Tournament.

In January 2015, Powell issued a statement saying that mixed signals from West Indies cricket authorities had left him "deflated and confused" as he attempted to return to international cricket after a self-imposed break for the game. This resulted in his decision to step away from the game for some time. In January 2016, he tried his hand at baseball, without much success.

Leeward Island Cricket Association chief executive, Richard Berridge, told CMC Sports that Powell had said that he was mentally prepared to return to first-class cricket.

"Kieran was always going to come back to cricket. I don't know the exact details but what I do know is that he made himself available to us," Berridge said. "He said he was ready - mentally ready to return to the game - and therefore the selection panel chose to include him in the squad for the ninth round.

"For the Leeward Islands Cricket Board it is certainly positive news. As you know, Kieran has played 21 Test matches already for West Indies, he's scored three Test hundreds and he is also a past captain of our team, so a player of that caliber we're always happy to welcome back into the fold.

"He will have to perform, just like anyone else. I think he would be recalled [to West Indies] if he performs. I know there are only two matches left in the four-day season. However, it is a start and we really hope he builds from strength to strength."

Powell has played 21 Tests for West Indies since his debut against India in July 2011, scoring 1072 runs, including three centuries and two fifties. He scored centuries in each innings of a Test against Bangladesh in November 2012, having scored his maiden hundred against New Zealand in July that year. In 68 first-class matches he has scored 3973 runs with six centuries and 21 fifties.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on March 14, 2016, 11:52 GMT

    Kieran Powell had a good reason to try baseball. Many of the top players get about 20 million dollars a year. More than 400 players get more than a million dollars a year. Powell had to learn a new game, which is impossible within a short time. Think of a baseball player from USA coming to India, and after some practice at the nets, wants to play in the IPL, or Sachin Tendulkar going to England and trying to play at Wimbledon. The basketball superstar Michael Jordan at age 33 retired from basketball and tried to play baseball. He already knew the game, and had played in high school. He was given a chance in the minor leagues, and failed miserably.

  • Michael on March 12, 2016, 23:07 GMT

    As far as I am concerned one cannot score runs if ones' technique is bad and Brathwaite is the best young batting prospect in the WI by far. Powells shot selection might be more attractive but Braff 16 first class centuries at age 23 tells it all.

  • Carlos on March 12, 2016, 22:23 GMT

    No doubt this youngster has talent, but i am not going to kill the "fattest calf". 55 runs is just what it is, Kieran has to perform and if he produces i believe he should be selected. To mention KB in association with this article, in my opinion js a disservice to the young man. I look forward to a productive time in the middle for this youngman.

  •   Kenneth Stapleton on March 12, 2016, 17:21 GMT

    I am surprised by all the positive comments welcoming him back. He is really a talented player but throw away him wicket far too often. When will the people in the Caribbean finally give up on test cricket? As a follower of WI cricket for over 40 years, I feel your pain for a good WI test team. However, the really is, test cricket has died in the Caribbean. Do you really think our good young players won't leave if the were offered contracts by the BBL & IPL? I loved test cricket. Remember when I was a youngster waking up in the middle of the night and listening when the team was in Australia and India. Great memories. Today, our better players will be playing T20 and we will be fielding a substandard team. I makes me sad, but that is the reality of WI cricket.

  •   Alex Alleyne on March 12, 2016, 12:57 GMT

    Good to see you out in the middle again. The LEFT/RIGHT combo. will be great for WI. Let us all hope the "powers that be" see it fit to add him to the TEST squad.

  • Josiah M. Philip on March 12, 2016, 11:21 GMT

    i was praying that the baseball career was a failure so we can have him back. my prayers were answered. although I criticized him when he was in the team, when he was out I realised how bare the cupboard is regarding solid opening batsman. select him for all 3 formats

  • Farley on March 12, 2016, 10:05 GMT

    This is excellent news. I hope that WICB will facilitate Kieran's return to the test team. He has demonstrated that he has cnsiderable potential. Even though I get the impression that he is inclined to be distracted during his innings, I am convinced that he should do well, with the appropriate nuturing and encouragement. I feel the same way about the young Trinidadian Barath. He too is obviously talented, but needs nuturing. We must develop and use this young talent, because we have a responsibility to give our talented youngsters who may have difficulties or fall by the wayside for whatever reason the needed help. West Indies cricket needs our best.

  • CRIC on March 11, 2016, 20:58 GMT

    Well, he made 55 on his return. Played some typically fluent strokes...put a few more decent innings together and he should be back in the test squad.

  • M on March 11, 2016, 20:53 GMT

    Welcome back Powell. Hope you have come back refreshed and ready to rack up runs. In 2 years, we have still not found a set opening combo. Gayle was there with no set partner, then when Kraigg came along and started scoring runs, Gayle basically stopped playing tests. (There was a small period where Gayle and Kraigg played together). How we have men like Chandrika and Hope opening. Chandrika should be no where near the WI team, and Hope should be in the middle order. Lewis has only just started to improve in regional cricket while other hopefuls like Campbell, Tage, Solozano haven't blossomed yet. There's still a spot for the taking. It's yours if you want it. Just score big runs.

  • Jonathan on March 11, 2016, 19:06 GMT

    I believe technique wise he is better than Kraigg but mentally Kraigg has him outmatched. They have the potential to form a very solid opening pair.

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