Grenada PM warns against spoiling young WI talent

Prime Minister of Grenada, Dr. Keith C Mitchell.
Dominika Zarzycka / NurPhoto / Sipa USA/ Sipa via Associated Press

Grenada’s Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell believes Cricket West Indies (CWI) should review how it manages young players like Nicholas Pooran and Shimron Hetmyer in order to get the most out of their talent.

The veteran leader said he was worried that picking such players in al formats of the game- especially Twenty20 – could result in “spoiling a talent” that could benefit to West Indies, especially in the longer formats.

Hetmyer, 23, currently plays all formats while fellow Pooran, 24, is involved only in the white-ball formats (Twenty20s and One-Day Internationals).

Right-hander Shai Hope, along with 21 year-old all-rounder Keemo Paul, have also featured recently in all formats.

Mitchell, a former chairman of CARICOM’s Prime Ministerial sub-committee on cricket said: “We have some talented players, the Poorans, Hetmyers and so on. I’m not sure that the right thing is to play these young people in all formats of the game at this point in time.”

“You have talent in Pooran and Hetmyer — these guys on the 50-over and on the Test team, we’d be molding these guys. But when a guy gets used to sixes and sixes and hitting the ball in the air in the 20-over game, which they must do, I think the mindset if they’re not well-developed yet…you can be spoiling a talent that there for the (longest) version of the game and the 50-overs game, “ he said.

Mitchell said while there was obvious development taking place in the shorter formats, the Test format still required attention.

“We have three formats of the game in cricket and I’ve giving my own personal opinion as some who watched the game a lot and is interest,” Mitchell added.

West Indies ranked eighth in Tests, ninth in ODIs and l0th in Twenty20s, face a difficult year ahead which includes the defense of their T20 World Cup title in Australia.

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