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Dalton Myers | In support of Rovman Powell

January 19, 2020

first_imgThe selection of Rovman Powell as stand-in captain for the Windies ODI team in Bangladesh makes me really proud of a young man, who has had to work very hard, while remaining humble. Now, Rovman may not change the team’s fortunes in Bangladesh, and it may be too soon to judge his competence as captain, but I am actually happy he is being given a chance to do something he is very good at, which is, to lead. Many persons have asked me if I really think he is ready. My simple answer is that, as an interim captain in this scenario – yes; on a permanent basis – not yet. The Old Harbour High alumni was brought to my attention in 2012, as a possible candidate for a student-athlete scholarship to the University of the West Indies, (UWI) Mona. I was reluctant because I thought coach Robert Samuels had already met his quota, particularly with more recognisable names such as Chrishna Graham, Jovaughn Buchanon and then West Indies Under-19 player, Donavan Nelson. We already had Paul Palmer Jr., Wavell Hinds and a few others, so Rovman nearly did not get that offer. However, coach Samuels promised that he was worth it. The rest is history. What I admire about Rovman is his humility and diligence. He regularly talks about his mother, and the family support, which has helped him along the way. He knew he was in a team with other established players, so he worked hard to be successful. He earned selection to the Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC) team based at the UWI Cave Hill Campus, and through the work of Floyd Reifer and the team, he improved further.  FUTURE LEADER Many may question how can a ‘Rovman Powell’ be given a Windies captaincy role with a batting average of just 26.6, merely one century and two half-centuries from 31 matches. Such a player would struggle to make the world’s top four teams. In fact, Rovman sometimes gets out cheaply in a reckless manner, which would frustrate even the most loyal fan. However, I like this move by the selectors. It suggests they see the 25-year-old as a future leader. They may also want to signal to Rovman, who received a Windies white-ball retainer contract, that he has a secured job (with the lure of lucrative T20 contracts looming).  Additionally, in the 15-man squad chosen for the Bangladesh ODI Series, only Shai Hope, Marlon Samuels, and Darren Bravo (40.14, 33.14, and 32.03 respectively) have better averages than Rovman (of players playing 31 or more matches). All three also have more matches under their belts. Carlos Braithwaite, at 30 years-old, continues to struggle with both bat and ball, causing questions about his selection in both ODIs and T20Is. A few years ago, the hope was that Darren Bravo would become one of the leaders of the Windies team. The 37-year-old Marlon Samuels is in the departure lounge and may quit any time after next year’s World Cup.  So in this group, Rovman is ideal for the job. Maybe if other Windies players make themselves available to the regional team things may change, who knows. BOLD MOVE Similar to the Wavell Hinds-led selection panel that chose Paul Palmer Jr. to captain the Jamaica Scorpions franchise, I see this as another bold move, but one that can reap rewards, following patterns set by New Zealand and South Africa, with youngsters being chosen as captains. Rovman will need to work very hard though, as now the spotlight will not just be on his inability to play spin, but how he manages the team, as well as his conduct on and off the field.  He will need to address some of those glaring weaknesses. He does have a good support team and I am sure his mother Joan Plummer and his management team, while beaming with pride, will continue working on him. This will be a tough ride, but I believe that he has the leadership capabilities to do the job, and with the support of the senior players, maybe we are about to witness a new Rovman Powell, who leads from the front with bat, ball and shot selection.last_img

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