CPL 2019: Guyana Amazon Warriors confident of crossing the ‘finish line’

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File: Amazon Warriors’ Chris Green

By Brandon Corlette

Two of Guyana Amazon Warriors’ (GAW) most prolific players, Nicholas Pooran and Chris Green, have said they are ready to play pivotal roles in the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL).

During the team’s official media launch, the duo, addressing media operatives, shared their goals and aspirations for the GAW.

As GAW marquee player, Pooran disclosed that, in his first stint with this franchise, he is excited to be included, and is hungry to register significant performances this season. “I am looking forward for this season with the GAW, who is the most successful team in CPL”, Pooran stated.

Sharing his sentiments on the composition of the GAW squad, Pooran said the squad is filled with young talents, in contrast with the other teams. “(There is) a lot of talent here in the team. The fans may give us a hard time, but we are young and we’ll make mistakes, but (we’ll) have some good games”, Pooran declared.

Nicholas Pooran (Associated Press)

Pooran was born in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, but has played for the Barbados Tridents in the 2018 CPL. He highlighted that playing against other teams and players is just another contest in cricket. “CPL is the most loved tournament around the world, and it’s competitive; but, at the end, a victory for the Warriors is (now) the most important thing”, Pooran told the local media.

The left-handed wicket-keeper, who scored the most runs for the West Indies in the ICC Cricket World Cup tournament and is fresh from a stint in the English T20 tournament, has said his main goal is to ensure Guyana wins this tournament.

One of the brightest young talents around, Pooran added that the GAW is a well-balanced team, and is capable of winning.

His new team mate Chris Green, the Australian player who is known as the T20 globe trotter, has a positive outlook heading into the new season. This off-spinning all-rounder, who in 2018 captained the GAW in the absence of Shoaib Malik, has said the composition of the GAW team looks good, and the team can push further and win.

“We’ve got some exciting local players (who)made a name for themselves last year; the likes of Shimron Hetmyer and Sherfane Rutherford”, Green stated.

The right-arm spinner has said the GAW have to continue their consistency and use their strong home base support to their advantage.

Green said he would be looking to significantly contribute to the team’s success with both bat and ball. With Guyana being his “home away from home”, this humble player has said he would be looking to pass on some knowledge to the youngsters.

The experienced Green shared some positive sentiments on Captain Shoaib Malik. “Having someone like that, who played the most T20 games, brings a great calmness to the group. I think having Malik’s presence for the entire tournament will be keen”, Green concluded.

Pooran, who in previous editions of CPL played for the Trinbago Knight Riders, St Kitts and Nevis Patriots and Barbados Tridents, made his T20 debut against the GAW in 2013 at the National Stadium at Providence.

This promising batsman, who was brilliant for the West Indies Under-19 during his junior career, made a half-century on his T20 debut.

Being a teenager at that time, he introduced himself to the big stage with a 24-ball 54, smashing the likes of Sunil Narine, Mohammed Hafeez, James Franklin and Krishamr Santokie for sixes at Providence. From that moment onwards, Pooran has been a brilliant batting talent, and has been recognized globally. Despite sustaining an injury during a car accident, Pooran never gave up on his cricketing dreams, but continued to be a seasoned T20 player with 102 such matches under his belt, playing T20 leagues globally.

Among the leagues for which Pooran played are the Pakistan Super League, the Indian Premier League, the Global T20 league Canada, the Bangladesh Premier League and the T10 league in Sharjah. His highest T20 score is 81, and he has nine half-centuries in his blooming career. Since playing for Kings XI Punjab in the 2019 IPL, the explosive Pooran has further developed as a batman. He recently showed his maturity with his maiden ODI half-century against England. He has 11 T20 Internationals under his belt, with two half-centuries.