October 02, 1995, Trinidad
Left hand bat
Nicholas Pooran confirmed his status as one of the most exciting young batting talents in the modern game with a sublime innings of 118 off 103 in West Indies' defeat to Sri Lanka at the 2019 World Cup, but only four years earlier the idea that he would play international cricket seemed fanciful.
A year after finishing as the fourth-highest run-scorer at the U-19 World Cup in early 2014, Pooran was involved in a serious car accident which left him with a torn patella tendon, fractured tibia and fractured ankle. After a long recovery process, he was handy a substantial contract for Barbados Tridents in the 2016 CPL on Kieron Pollard's recommendation. Unsure whether his body would continue to hold up, Pooran looked to maximise his earnings by playing in every franchise league he could including the BPL, the PSL, the Hong Kong Blitz, the T10 and for West Indies B in the Global T20 Canada. His first BPL deal, in 2016-17, earned him a ban from the WICB, who were displeased at his decision not to play regional cricket instead.
His international breakthrough came in late 2018, when he hit his first half-century for West Indies off just 24 balls against India in Chennai. From there, he was parachuted into the World Cup squad, and given an opportunity as West Indies' No. 4 despite limited experience in 50-over cricket. He hit fifties against England and Afghanistan, plus a thrilling hundred against Sri Lanka, and finished the tournament with an average of 52.47 and a strike rate of 100.
After an underwhelming first season for Kings XI Punjab in the IPL - he was previously picked up by Mumbai Indians in 2017 but did not play a game - he enjoyed a stellar 2020 season in the UAE, making 353 runs at a strike rate of 170, demonstrating his ability to dominate against spin and also pulling off a remarkable boundary save in the deep. He had come into the season off the back of a maiden T20 hundred for Guyana Amazon Warriors in the CPL, and followed it by playing his first first-class games in over six years for West Indies A in New Zealand.
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