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Saturday, May 1, 2021

the struggle of the resilient Nicholas Pooran

Liam Livingstone, the England and Rajasthan Royals batter, has opted to return home early from the IPL, citing "bubble fatigue" after spending much of the last ten months moving in and out of biosecure environments. The Royals said that Livingstone had flown back to the UK on Monday, before India was added to a "red list" of countries from which the arrivals need to undergo a mandatory ten-day quarantine period.   He has not played a single match for Royals in IPL thus far.

Today, it was a double header and in the first match, the 14th of the season, Punjab Kings had another nightmare, losing to Sunrisers Hyderabad this time at Chepauk.  .. .. .. and Nicholas Pooran, promoted to No. 4 had another nightmare – a ‘diamond duck’ -   miscommunication with veteran batsman Chris Gayle found him short of his crease. Pooran, who is yet to fire this season, had to walk back to the pavilion without even facing a delivery today.

Remember in Nov 11,2018 at Chepauk – T20I   – India Vs once mighty West Indies –  I could not recognize most players in the line-up that read : Hope, Hetmeyer, Darren Bravo, Dinesh Ramdin,  Pooran (who !); KA Pollard, CR Brathwaite (c), FA Allen, KMA Paul, K Pierre, O Thomas .. ..  on that day, was impressed to see Nicholas Pooran play   some audacious shots – he scored 50 off 25 balls – later  read that he is a wicket-keeper from Trinidad & Tobago.   

                   In 2017, IPL he was grabbed by MI for a base price of 30 lakhs, but do not remember him playing any of the matches.   Eleven days after being snapped up by Mumbai Indians in the IPL auction, he was suiting up for Islamabad United in the PSL playoffs against Karachi Kings. A week later he walked  out to bat in a bright yellow outfit for City Kaitak in the Hong Kong T20 Blitz.  .. .. and on July 1, 2019 at ICC WC at  Chester-le-Street,  chasing a tall score of lanka, Pooran made his maiden century.  Avishka Fernando, all of 21, scored his maiden international hundred to set up Sri Lanka's 338 for 6 - by far their highest total of the tournament - and Nicholas Pooran, three months shy of his 24th birthday, responded with 118 - his first international century too - to threaten a remarkable comeback in what would have been the highest chase at a World Cup.   

Further read that an year after finishing as the fourth-highest run-scorer at the U-19 World Cup in early 2014,  in Jan 2014,   Pooran was involved in a road accident.   "I was coming back home from training, driving," Pooran recalls. "I was close to home and a car was overtaking another car, so I pulled away. I hit a sand heap and then I came back onto the road and another vehicle hit me. "I was knocked out and then I couldn't remember what happened. I just woke up at the accident and I was like, 'How did this happen?' I was shocked. I couldn't believe that this happened. I was taken in an ambulance, couldn't move my legs.

That accident left him with a torn patella tendon, fractured tibia and fractured ankle.  He underwent  two surgeries; the  first was less than 24 hours after the accident, to repair the left patellar tendon. The second, on his right leg to repair the ankle fracture, had to wait another week, till after the swelling from the injury subsided. The surgeries, though, were a minor detail in the process to figure out the answer to the question Pooran had put to his doctors. It took Pooran until July, six months after the accident, before he could walk without assistance.  

Great resilience – he was back, up and running and scoring runs but this season had found runs too difficult to come by.  On 12.4 against Royals at Mumbai he was out for a duck; on 16.4 another duck against CSK and on 18.4 against Delhi Capitals scored 9 !  .. .. and today he was run out for a duck without even facing a ball.

Will KL Rahul select him again in the next match remains to be seen ! 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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