I listened to the comments made by the chairman of selectors of the West Indies cricket team Roger Harper about Nicholas Pooran playing test cricket for the regional team with great interest.
What Harper was saying, in a nutshell, is that Pooran has to prove himself at the four-day regional level before he is given a 'look in' for the test team. That sounds reasonable to the average mind but I believe Harper and his fellow selectors are not being enterprising and risk-taking enough. Here is a young gifted ane very talented player in Nicholas Pooran with a special touch.
Such players as Pooran are not seen every day on a cricket field and should be given every opportunity to excel at the longest format of the game.
Harper and company must know when they are looking at a jewel and that precious commodity is in the form of Nicholas Pooran from the twin-island state of Trinidad and Tobago. Legends Michael Holding and Sir Vivian Richards have endorsed Pooran to play at the highest level of the game but, both are aware it will not be an easy journey for the youngster, but with the proper guidance and patience Pooran should pull through because the natural ability is there.
Pooran, who is just 25-years old, is an exhilarating, exciting and at times breathtaking to watch. He must not be classified only as T20 player but, the selectors must bite the bullet and go against the norm to get this left-handed dynamo into the test arena. The West Indies at the present has some good young players in Sunil Ambris, Roston Chase, Shamarh Brooks and Shai Hope. I believe Pooran should be added to this list. With some adjustment to his approach at the test level, I believe Pooran has all the qualities to be successful at the longest format of the game.
If you are not convinced, let's take a look at the career of the Australian cricketer David Warner. Cricket Australia took a chance with Warner and today they have not regretted their decision.
Warner became the first Australian cricketer in 132 years who went straight into test cricket without first-class experience.
Today, the left-handed Australian opening bat is one of the hottest batmen of the game and most sought after and highest paid cricketers in the world.
If you are still not convinced, the career of former South African cricket captain and opening batsman is one I must point out. Graeme Smith made his test debut at the age of 21 and, one year later he was given the highest position in the Proteas national senior cricket team. Smith was named captain and, he did not disappoint. The now-retired left-handed batsman was ranked among the best cricket captains in the world during his playing days.
My last exemplar is none other than our very own West Indian Shivnarine Chanderpaul. The little Guyanese player made his test debut at the tender age of 19, under the now legendary Clive Lloyd. Chanderpaul must give thanks to the chairman of selectors former Bajan all-rounder David Holford who had the vision and courage to take a chance on 'Chanders'.This gamble gave the West Indies a brilliant Career which lasted 21 years and over eleven thousand test runs.
Pooran may or may not succeed but, he is ready for the opportunity. Harper and company must be bold enough to make the call.
Former Sports Reporter