He may just be 20 years old, but all-rounder Kyle Mayers is no stranger to the big stage.
The talented Barbadian has already seen his fair share of action around the world at various age group levels, campaigns that have prepared him well for his next big assignment – the Limacol Caribbean Premier League which bowls off across the region in just a few days.
Mayers, who bowls right-arm seamers and bats left-handed, was snapped up as one of the Under-23 players in the draft and will turn out for the Barbados Tridents during the July 30 to August 24 tournament.
“At 20, I am very happy with the position I am in right now. I am in the High Performance Centre but in the past I played for West Indies Under-15s, West Indies Under-19s and all the Barbados youth cricket teams coming up so that is a plus for me,” Mayers said.
“I played for the senior (Barbados) team this season in the 50-over and the T20 after playing last season for Combined Campuses and Colleges, so I think I am going forward in my cricket. I was recently selected for the West Indies A team to play against Sri Lanka A so I guess things are going well.”
He added: “It is very challenging playing sometimes against Test cricketers and players who have played the game at the regional level for a long period of time. I think it is very testing, and playing this cricket is a learning stage for me so it can only get better.”
Mayers has been one of the products of the West Indies developmental system and therefore, is an ideal fit for the Limacol CPL. What has been key for him, is that at every level at which he has played, he has gained valuable experience of performing on the big stage.
It is this know-how that he hopes to put to good use not only in the Limacol CPL but as he continues to play in the West Indies first class competition and hopefully when he breaks into international cricket.
“I was very excited to play in the Under-15 for West Indies. To be 15-years-old and representing millions of people was great,” he reminisced.
“[At Under-19 level] we played together as a team for a year. We travelled to the United States, India and then we went to the World Cup which was in Australia.
“Although we did not do as good as we should have, it was still a great experience to travel to those countries to play against the youth players from around the world. Some of these players are at Test level now so we were definitely playing some of the best.”
The excitement of the Limacol CPL is likely to be right up Mayers’ alley. With strong arms and broad shoulders, he packs quite a punch when on the go.
His 21-ball 37 – including four massive sixes – for Barbados against Windward Islands in the Caribbean T20 earlier this year, is testament to his power.
“For sure, batting wise, I will bring power. I am a strong lad and can hit the ball a good distance. In the field, I am a good boundary fielder so I think I can bring those things to the (Tridents) side,” Mayers said.
“To be honest, I favour the shorter version of the game. It is more exciting and I like a lot of excitement in terms of boundaries, taking quick wickets, good fielding, so I prefer the Twenty20 and the 50-overs.”
With the prospects of playing alongside quality international players like Shakib al Hasan,Shoaib Malik and Umar Akmal, as well as West Indies stars Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Smith, Mayers is already chomping at the bit.
“I am very excited to be part of the Limacol CPL knowing that it is the very first one, and I am looking forward to making a mark and remaining in the League. You don’t know if you will be selected next year so getting into the first one was a good step. Now I just need to maintain a place and maybe move up the ranks,” he pointed out.
“I think I can learn a lot. These are international players who play all over the world so there is a lot to learn and cricket is a learning game. Whether it’s my regular teammates Carlos Brathwaite or Jason Holder or one of the international players, I can gain something from them, and I plan to do just that.”
Mayers’ first opportunity to learn will happen on July 30 when the inaugural Limacol Caribbean Premier League bowls off in Barbados with the Barbados Tridents facing the St Lucia Zouks.