Chief selector Courtney Browne has praised the form that has led to the return of Kieran Powell to West Indies colours, and says he hopes the left-hander’s exemplary attitude can be an inspiration to other players across the region.
Powell returned from a self-imposed two-year break to plunder 513 runs in the recently concluded Regional Super50, and force his way into the 15-man squad selected for England’s three-match One-Day International tour of the Caribbean.
In particular, Browne pointed to Powell’s high level of maturity which he said had been long in coming but very welcomed at this stage.
“We had lots of opportunities for players to put up their hands and young Powell has displayed a level of maturity that was expected for a long, long time from him,” Browne said in an interview on the Mid-Wicket show.
“This is the Powell we were expecting to see and I’m sure people right across the Caribbean that knows the young man, was expecting to see this level of maturity a few years back. But he is here now, has really put up his hand, he’s said ‘look, I’m ready for international cricket again’.
“He’s hungry and we’re very, very pleased. We hope that other players would see how Powell has set about presenting himself for selection and take a leaf or two out of his book.”
Identified as a long-term solution to the Windies’ opening woes, Powell had played 21 Tests and 28 One-Day Internationals when he abruptly quit international cricket in 2014 without any real explanation.
He then tried his hand at American baseball before finally returning to first class competition towards the end of last season, playing in a couple of games for Leeward Islands Hurricanes.
The 26-year-old made a powerful statement during this year’s Super50, carving out three centuries and two half-centuries, to emerge as the leading batsman.
Browne said while a decision was yet to be made where Powell would fit in at the top of the order, his ability along with that of fellow young players like Evin Lewis and Kraigg Brathwaite, would be added value for the one-day squad.
“We tried a few things in Zimbabwe … we have a new coach in now and we have a camp coming up and all of that (batting lineup) will be determined within that time frame,” the former Test wicketkeeper pointed out.
“But it’s a good place to be in to have young Powell coming off of some 500 runs, Evin who’s just coming off his [maiden] ODI hundred and Kraigg Brathwaite who consistently has performed at the regional level so we’re in a good space here.”
He added: “I think that is the good thing about our cricket – we’re now seeing signs that we have guys who are coming behind that will keep selection pressure on the guys who are in the team and I think that is a tremendous feat for us here in the Caribbean.
“We are now seeing players who are hungry for cricket, who want to play cricket and enough can’t be said about how our young players are shaping up.”
The ODI series against England runs from March 3-9.