Bassarath respects Pooran’s decision to opt out of India series


Cricket West Indies (CWI) Vice-president Azim Bassarath “respects” Nicholas Pooran’s decision to make himself unavailable for the three-match One-Day International (ODI) series against India, which bowls off in Kensington Oval, Barbados, on Thursday.

Pooran and seasoned campaigner Jason Holder made themselves unavailable for the series, but the former is currently in the US competing for Mumbai Indians New York, in the Major League Cricket T20 tournament.

Bassarath, who is also TT Cricket Board president, believes Pooran may have opted to contest the game’s shortest format to get away from the more demanding, physically and mentally taxing ODI series.

However, he said many maroon fans would be disappointed with Pooran’s absence, especially when the final ODI comes to his homeland at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba, on Tuesday.

“With the amount of cricket the guys are playing, although they are still playing cricket (US T20), especially at this longer format (ODI), they would know their body and what it requires.

“I wouldn’t say that I’m not disappointed but I think that hosting it here in Trinidad, people hold Nicholas Pooran in high esteem and were looking forward to seeing him play. In that respect, yes, but I respect his excuse for not making himself available.

“But it could be his tiredness and the amount of cricket they are playing although they are playing T20 cricket now, but the 50 overs is more than twice that amount, so it will take something out of you to really play that amount of cricket,” Bassarath said.

For the series, West Indies recalled Guyanese Shimron Hetmyer and Jamaican Oshane Thomas into the ODI squad.

TT fast bowler Jayden Seales and leg-spinner Yannic Cariah are also back following rehab after surgery, while left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie returns having recovered from his lower-back injury.

Additionally, Tuesday’s match at Brian Lara Cricket Academy is the venue’s first official International Cricket Council (ICC) ODI match. Last year, it played host to its first T20 International.

Bassarath is pleased with the venue’s preparation so far and expressed confidence in the facility to host its inaugural ODI, and then the first and only, of the five T20Is against India, on August 3.

“Over 5,000 tickets have been sold as we speak now (Wednesday). Everything is in place with respect to logistics. The ground is looking in fantastic condition, security-wise everything is in place. We are just ready for the game and we are certain that we will have a maybe 60-75 per cent turnout at the venue.

“We’re looking forward to make sure that whatever that is there to be done to ensure the venue continues to host international matches that the TTCB is going to work with Udecott to make sure that happens,” he added.

On the team’s chances against an in-form India unit, Bassarath said, “I think we have a reasonably good team. India, of course, is one of the top teams in the world, it’s difficult to say, but I think the boys will put up a fight.” (Newsday)


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