By Loshaun Dixon
Basseterre, St. Kitts-Nevisian batsman Kieran Powell’s good form has been rewarded as the opener has earned a recall to the West Indian set up for the upcoming home series against England starting in early March.
Mr. Powell, who was dropped from the West Indies team in 2014 following a string of substandard performances, took a two year break from the game where he explored playing baseball in major league baseball in the USA.
Upon his return in 2016, Powell was entrusted with the Captaincy of the Leeward Islands Hurricanes and has led the team that finished last the previous two seasons to respectable position in the first half of four day first class competition and to the semi-finals of the recently concluded Nagico Regional Super-50.
Though his performances in the four day competition have been satisfactory, his performances in the Regional Super-50 has stood out since his return.
In the 50 over competition the 26-year-old scored 513 runs in nine matches with three centuries and two half centuries, at an average of 64.12 and become the leading scorer in the competition and the first batsman to score more than 400 runs in that competition.
Powell during the competition said despite his good form he he was hungry to continue scoring runs.
“I wake up every day thinking I haven’t scored a run for the tournament yet, so that’s why I go out and bat each game with a big appetite to try and get some big runs on the board because I can’t rest on my laurels and think ‘I’ve got this amount of runs’ and be complacent at any point in time,” Powell told WICB media.
Earlier this week the West Indies Cricket Board announced a 15-man training squad for the series against England beginning on March 3 with Powell named as one of the batsmen in the team.
The squad is slated to meet up in Antigua for a camp in the build up to the three match series and will work under the stewardship of new head coach Stuart Law.
The squad named by the WICB selection panel would be led by captain Jason Holder and features Devendra Bishoo, Carlos Brathwaite, Kraigg Brathwaite, Jonathan Carter, Miguel Cummins, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Ashley Nurse, Kieran Powell and Rovman Powell.
It is expected that Powell will vie with Kraigg Brathwaite and Evin Lewis for the opening slots.
Kieran Powell has played in 28 ODIs for the West Indies with a highest score of 83 at an average of 27.57. In test cricket the opener has played 21 test and has amassed 1072 runs at an average of 27.48 with three centuries with a high score of 134.
The WICB also announced a President’s XI that will play two warm up games against England on Saturday (Feb. 25) and Monday (Feb. 27) at Warner Park in St Kitts.
The WICB President’s XI Squad is led by the Leeward Island’s Jahmar Hamilton and will feature Sunil Ambris, Ronsford Beaton, Rahkeem Cornwall, Montcin Hodge, Kyle Hope, Damion Jacobs, Reynard Leveridge, Kyle Mayers, Andre McCarthy, Raymon Reifer, Kemar Roach.