A broken left ankle in 2018 turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Barbadian cricketer Kyle Mayers.
The left-handed batsman and right-arm medium-pacer who had dismissed 71 batsmen in 30 first-class matches at an impressive average of 21.54 prior to 2020, hardly bowled for Barbados Pride during the Regional Four-Day tournament this year.
Mayers concentrated on his batting because of the injury, and compiled 654 runs in 15 innings at an average of 50.30, including two centuries, before the season was cancelled at the end of the eighth round due to the outbreak of the deadly covid-19 pandemic.Jermaine Blackwood of the Jamaica Scorpions who scored 768 runs at 51.20 was the leading batsman in the tournament.
As a result of his stellar season in regional domestic cricket, Mayers was included among the ten reserves that provided cover for the West Indies’ squad during the Test series against England in the United Kingdom. His good form continued in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) where he was the leading batsmen for Barbados Tridents. This year has proven a turning point in his career.
“This year was my most successful season with the bat in first-class cricket, my preparation before the start of the four-day tournament was the key to my success. I focused extremely hard on my batting before the start of the competition. Obviously, coming back from a broken ankle I wasn’t able to bowl much, so I focused hard on my batting. My preparation for the season and my confidence in my ability as a batsman were the major factors for my success in 2020,” Mayers told Barbados TODAY.
Mayers, a former West Indies Under-15 and Under-19 player, made his first-class debut for the Windward Islands Volcanoes against Guyana at Providence in 2015.
After a few years with the Volcanoes, he was sidelined because of the injury to his ankle. Last year he was drafted into the Barbados Pride side for the 2020 first-class season. The hard-hitting batsman told Barbados TODAY his ambition is to give of his best every time he goes on a cricket field.
The pitches at the Brian Lara Academy and the Queen’s Park Oval during the CPL came under scunity because of the low totals in the tournament. Last Tuesday evening while speaking on the Mason and Guest cricket program, Michael Hall, the operations manager of the CPL, said the low scores were because the batsmen were out of practice. But according to Mayers, the pitches were not ideal for Twenty20 criicket.
“The pitches in Trinidad were tough, they were the standard Trinidadian wickets which are difficult to bat on at times. I guess this was due to their preparation. Two matches were played at the ground each day, the groundsmen had to put in extra work to preparie the pitches. At times they were a bit difficult for strokeplay which is an exciting feature of Twenty20 cricket. Some days they played well and on other days, it was difficult to play strokes on them. They were not ideal for Twenty20 cricket but batsmen could work with them. So at the end of the day as a professional cricketer one had to adjust to them, because they were not ideally suited for Twenty20 cricket,” Mayers said.
The talented cricketer who had the opportunity to observe the workings of a biosecure bubble in the United Kingdom and Trinidad said they were different in the two countries.
“ The bioscure bubbles in Trinidad and England were not the same. England had more resoures in terms of entertainment for the players, I thought the bubble was more professionally done in England than in the CPL. Nevertheless, the CPL did a great job in keeping people safe from COVID-19 during the tournament. I felt more comfortable in England than in Trinidad because there were more things one could do, which was not the case in Trinidad,” Mayers said,
Mayers, who last played in the CPL two years ago for the St Lucia Zouks, said he was grateful to play for the Tridents. “I felt good to be playing the tournament after missing two years of CPL action. I was happy to make a contribution to the team with my bat, I really enjoyed the season. It would have been great if the tournament was played on a home and away basis, which allows the cricketers to experience different conditions in other countries, but the coronavirus did not allow that to take place. Nevertheless, I was grateful for the opportunity to play for the Tridents, so I cannot complain,” Mayers said.
The dashing cricketer who celebrated his 28th birthday last week said he plans to give back to the game after his playing days are over, whether it be as a coach or in some other area. He expressed his thanks to everyone that have guided him in his career so far, and paid a special tribute to his father and personal coach Shirley Clarke, the former Barbados and Combined Campuses and Colleges cricketer.