The history of the West Indies cricket team began in the 1890s when the first representative sides were selected to play visiting English sides.
Since then, the West Indies has produced some of the greatest cricketers to have trod upon the earth.
Today, cricket is still the most popular sport in the Caribbean.
And players continue to be drawn mainly from the English-speaking Caribbean countries and territories, many of which historically formed the British West Indies.
Over the years, the West Indies have won many ICC competitions and was the first team to win back-to-back World Cups (1975 and 1979).
Although the team has had its glory days over the years, today, it has lost its crown and is in a struggle to capture some of those magic moments it once enjoyed.
That said, there are many young players who pundits and fans are eyeballing to take them once again to greatness.
As a fan and reporter muttering from afar, three of my top young guns to help the team achieve the feat of kingship again are the following:
Roston Lamar Chase is a 28-year-old player from Barbados. He plays for the West Indies national cricket team and Barbados’ national side in the regional domestic competition.
He is a batting allrounder, bats right-handed, and is also a useful right-arm off-spin bowler.
He has been the go-to man for West Indies for quite some time in the longer format. He is one of the players that can be relied on to step up to the plate with both bat and ball when others falter.
He won a place in West Indies’ Test team after strong showings with bat and ball in the 2015-16 Professional Cricket League.
He scored 710 runs in 10 matches at an average of 59.16 and spun his way into the Windies’ team after taking 23 wickets in 2015-16 at an average of 17.26.
Since then, he has owned the No. 6 slot in the team, and one would be hard-pressed to exclude him from the team after his performance in a home series against India in July-August 2016.
In only his second Test, back then, Chase had become only the fourth West Indian, after Denis Atkinson, Collie Smith, and Sir Garfield Sobers to take a five-wicket haul and score a hundred in the same Test match.
He is levelheaded, disciplined, and dedicated, traits that should serve him well in his young and budding career.
Roston Chase, in my opinion, is an automatic pick for any Test team selected by the Windies.
Jason Omar Holder is another Barbadian and Windies cricketer who has impressed me as a rising Windies cricket star.
He is the current Test captain of the West Indies cricket team and former ODI captain.
At 6 feet and seven inches tall, Holder is a soft-spoken man, well-mannered and may be dubbed, a gentle giant.
He made his One Day International debut in January 2013 and Test debut in June 2014.
Windies’ former captain and great, Sir Clive Hubert Lloyd chair-man of the selection panel reposed so much confidence that he named young Holder captain of West Indies’ ODI in 2014.
At age 23, many thought he was too young to be burdened with such a huge responsibility, at the time.
He was also made captain of the Test team, soon after, with overwhelming support from former greats such as Viv Richards, Brian Lara, et. al.
Holder is a reliable allrounder in Tests and is currently the number one ranked allrounder in ICC Test rankings.
He is a bowling allrounder with decent numbers with both bat and ball, and although as a captain he’s without many silverware in the cupboard, he has exhibited strong leadership qualities both on and off the field.
Holder’s body of work in his short career fits easily in my playbook as a young gun to help fire Windies to the top.
If you try to find a player who can become a great Windies player of the modern game, that player in my view would be Nicholas Pooran.
Pooran made his ODI debut in 2019, and since then, he has averaged 49. He has gained vast T20 experience from playing in different leagues around the world, including BBL, IPL, PSL, and BPL.
By playing alongside excellent players in the various leagues, he has shown that he is a top tier player and his cricket pedigree cannot be denied.
At the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, he was the player with most runs, highest score, and the highest average for the Windies.
Only two players made centuries for the Windies, and you guessed right, Nicholas Pooran was one of them.
Pooran is not only a big achiever but also a big game player.
He is only 24 years old, and if managed well, he could easily be the next player to score 10,000 ODI runs for Windies.
He is yet to make his Test debut, but unlike some young players, he has indicated his interest in playing Test cricket for the Windies.
Pooran is one player that I would not have to tell — bring your gun to town!
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