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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > Interview > Ricardo Powell

'West Indies have the team to
win the World Cup'

February 28, 2003

Ricardo PowellRicardo Powell is one of the most explosive batsmen to come out of the West Indies in recent times. His flamboyant style of batting defies bad pitches and even good bowling. It has made him a force to reckon with in the one-day game. Added to that, he also a useful off-spin bowler. The ongoing World Cup is where he is hoping to leave a mark. Ashish Magotra caught up with the 24-year-old Jamaican in South Africa.

You announced yourself with a bang on the international scene but then things went steadily downhill, till now. So, in the recent past, has there been any moment that has inspired you to your best?

I think in everybody's career you have a bad patch, when you go out of form, but for me, I think, that break did me a lot of good. I am a much better player right now and it is showing in my batting. So I am grateful for that time I missed out; it's pay back time now! I knew I needed to work on my game to be one of the best. That time away from the game made me realize I needed to work harder to achieve greatness.

Was there anything in particular that you worked on, your mental or physical aspect?

Physically, I worked on a lot of things, but mentally, I worked hard too and did a lot of reading and it is helping now. Mentally, I think I know I have to go out and score quickly and I am prepared for that at all times.

The West Indies lies in the Central American region and news coming out of there is that a lot of youngsters are being attracted by American sports such as basketball and baseball. How true are these reports? What is the impact on cricket?

Cricket is the number one sport in the West Indies and no two ways about that. Yes, football is a popular sport but nothing comes close to cricket. There are certain programs being put into place to get the youngsters interested in the game again.

Do you see the West Indies really start to come through now?

We have a lot of young talent coming through and then it's just a matter of trying to put it together. It doesn't matter how much talent you have if the team does not put it together; it amounts to nothing. So, we just want to play together and learn from the coach, the manager and the captain to get success at the end of the day.

Has the presence of Roger Harper, as coach, and Viv Richards, as chairman of selectors, helped you in any way?

The coach is the one who watches you in the nets whenever you are batting and making a few mistakes; you know he will be there to correct you. I have always admired Viv Richards. He was a marvelous batsman; people in the Caribbean have always looked up at him as the number one batsman to ever come out of the country. To have him around motivates me. I have watched him since I was a kid.

As a batsman, you seem to come in during the slog overs and time and again, and slam runs at a very quick pace. What is your frame of mind as you walk out at that particular point of time?

For me, batting is all about getting an over or two to get settled. Once that happens I start scoring runs. I have been batting at number 5-6 in the batting order for the last three years and after a while you get used to it. It is difficult, mentally and physically, but I will do whatever my team requires. Added to that, I am an attacking player and they say you should go about scoring runs the way you are comfortable with.

Ricardo PowellAre you disappointed by the fact that despite your success in one-dayers you have still only played one Test?

Yes, I am. But now that I am back; you can never tell. You know once the door is open and the opportunity presents itself, you have to make the best use of it.

Have you modeled your game on any of the West Indian cricketers of the eighties?

Ever since I was a kid I have been my way and it has produced runs for me. So the best thing for me is to stick to my own game.

Brian Lara is a genius... the whole world knows that. How difficult is it for the youngsters in the team like Marlon Samuels and yourself to adapt to the fact?

Having Lara in the team is always an asset. You can be sure of the fact that the batting will always score runs. That eases of the pressure a bit and it is a good thing. I guess other players really appreciate having someone like him in the team.

Hooper as captain... how has that helped you?

It doesn't matter who is the captain; you have to support him. Hooper is a very quiet captain. He knows how and when to talk to the players. In the game you don't really need advice all the time. So, in the circumstances, he is a very good captain. Whenever you need advice he is always there.

How important is it for a player to prove to himself that he is good?

Everytime you step on to the ground you look to perform. I always look to please myself first; once I do that I know the public will be pleased. The way I bat entertains the crowd.

So who is your all-time favourite cricketer?

Well, I don't have any favourites. There have a been a lot of great cricketers; among the batsmen, Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting and Damien Martyn. Looking at them gives you a target that you look to achieve.

Do you hope to be regarded among the greats someday?

I wouldn't say hope. I am looking to be a great player at the end of my career. Once I keep my focus, believe it or not, I know I will go all the way.

Have you set yourself any immediate goals?

Everyday before a game I always pray that whatever the Lord had planned for me, let it be. I go out there and try my best, and if at the end of the day my best is not enough, then so be it. If the West Indies play as a team, we should go all the way. I mean the West Indies have the team to win the World Cup. Once we remain focused we should go all the way.

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