Nicholas Pooran makes history

West Indies’ Nicholas Pooran bats against Afghanistan during an ICC Men’s T20 World Cup cricket match at the Darren Sammy National Cricket Stadium in Gros Islet, St. Lucia, Monday, June 17, 2024.
AP Photo/ Ramon Espinosa

Wicket-keeper/batsman Nicholas Pooran became the leading run-scorer for West Indies in the Twenty/20 format during his innings against New Zealand in the 2024 International Cricket Council (ICC) Men’s T20 World Cup at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba,Trinidad.

Pooran, 28, a former limited over captain for the West Indies, surpassed the previous highest scorer Chris Gayle, who amassed 1899 runs in 79 innings for the Caribbean team from 2006 to 2021. Pooran went into the match on 1,897 runs, and his cameo in Tarouba took him to 1,914 runs.

“The Universe Boss (Chris Gayle), he’s the definition of T20 cricket batting. He has set the bar really high for all of us com- ing through the ranks,” Pooran said.

“I’m just really happy I can go past him…he has been incredible and he has changed the game.”

“It’s just one step for me in achieving what I have to achieve. I’m really happy getting to that landmark and I obviously want to push on.”

Pooran has played 91 matches so far in the format for the Windies since emerging in 2016, with his highest score of 82 coming against reigning T20 World Cup champions England in St George’s, Grenada last December. Pooran has a healthy strike rate of 134.03 and an average of 25.52.

He was also named to the ICC’s 2023 T20 Team of the Year after scoring 384 runs at an average of 29.5 and a breathtaking strike rate of 163 for the Windies last year.

The left-hander had an amazing 2024 Indian Premier League season scoring 499 runs in 14 matches for the Lucknow Super Giants. Pooran finished the tournament as the eighth-highest run scorer.

Batting at number three, Pooran was expected to be the catalyst for the West Indies’ batting unit at the T20 World Cup.

Pooran played a range of ambitious shots in his 12-ball innings against New Zealand before succumbing to Tim Southee as the West Indies booked their spot in the Super Eight with a 13-run win.

In his two previous matches against Papua New Guinea on June 2, Pooran made 27, before scoring 22 against newcomers Uganda on June 8.