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Nicholas Pooran steps down as West Indies white-ball captain




Nicholas Pooran has stepped down as white-ball captain of West Indies following the team’s first-round exit from the 2022 T20 World Cup, Cricket West Indies has confirmed.

Pooran had taken over the captaincy from Kieron Pollard in May earlier this year. Under his captaincy since he took over full-time, West Indies won just four out of 15 ODIs and four out of 15 T20Is. In the T20 World Cup, West Indies, who came into the tournament as two-time champions, were stunned by Scotland in the opener and then went on to lose against Ireland, finishing the tournament with just one win – against Zimbabwe – and crashing out in the first round.

“I have given the captaincy a great deal of thought since the enormous disappointment of the T20 World Cup,” Pooran said. “I took on the role with great pride and dedication and have given it absolutely everything over the past year. The T20 World Cup is something that must not define us and I will readily get involved in the upcoming reviews. And whilst it will be several months until we reconvene as a squad, I want to give CWI plenty of time to prepare for the matches against South Africa in March and beyond.

“This is not me giving up. I remain ambitious and still view the captaincy of West Indies cricket as an honour that is bestowed upon you. There is no doubt I remain fully committed to West Indies cricket and I look forward to providing my services as a senior player in a supportive role.”

Pooran’s own form has been a concern in recent times. He has scored just 94 runs in his last 10 innings in T20Is and finished the T20 World Cup with scores of 5, 7 and 13.

“By stepping down now as the West Indies white ball captain I believe it is in the best interests of the team and for me personally, as I need to concentrate on what I can deliver to the side as a player,” he said. “I desperately want us to be successful and the most value I can give to the team is through fully focusing on the role of consistently scoring runs at crucial times.”

Jimmy Adams, CWI director of cricket, said: “On behalf of CWI I want to thank Nicholas for his time leading our white ball teams. Having spoken with him I know he remains fully committed to West Indies cricket and I am convinced he has a big role to play in our future.”

In Pollard’s absence last year, Pooran, who was vice-captain that year, had led West Indies to a 4-1 T20I series win against Australia. He was elevated to captain after Pollard announced his retirement from international cricket in April.

Pooran was also recently released by Sunrisers Hyderabad, who had bought him for INR 10.75 crore this year, ahead of the 2023 IPL auction set to take place on December 23.

CWI, however, is yet to announce Pooran’s replacement in both formats. Rovman Powell is currently the vice-captain of the T20I side while Shai Hope holds the position in ODIs.

West Indies’ next white-ball series is in March 2023 against South Africa, where they will play three ODIs and three T20Is following the two-Test series.