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West Indies player Kieran Powell switches to Baseball after clash with West Indies Cricket Board

Kieran Powell last played for West Indies in June 2014.

News 31 Dec 2015, 14:46 IST
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Powell in search for a Major League Baseball franchise

West Indies were outplayed by the Australians in the first two matches of the Test series Down Under and now they have lost a player to Baseball.

Former Test opener Kieran Powell, who last played for West Indies in June 2014, is currently in Bradenton, Florida where he is preparing for a tryout day at the IMG Academy. On January 13 he will showcase his batting and fielding skills in an attempt to be signed by a Major League Baseball franchise.

Following his fall out with the West Indies cricket board (WICB), Powell is committed to make this move a success. In an interview Powell said, "An opportunity came about after a few discrepancies with the West Indies cricket board and I decided to take some time off from cricket and some footage of me playing cricket was seen by the LA Dodgers. I've had some training out here in the US for a few months."

The 25-year-old batsman has played 21 Tests, 28 one-day internationals and one Twenty20 internationals for the Caribbean side. Powell first appeared at international stage in 2009. He has three Test centuries to his name, including twin tons against Bangladesh in Dhaka in 2012. Despite those successes he has an underwhelming Test average of 27.48.

In 2014 the left-hander moved away from the national side during the first Test of the series against New Zealand due to personal reasons.

Baseball is my priority right now: Powell

The WICB President Dave Cameron once considered Powell as the future West Indian Captain. He hasn't played any top-level cricket since playing for Tamil Union in Sri Lanka. He says that Baseball has his full attention now, though cricket remains in his heart. He said, "Baseball is my priority right now. Obviously cricket is my first love. Baseball is really fun, it's an interesting game, I've loved every minute of it so far, and I hope to continue doing it for the rest of my career."

He explained he had never regarded his move to baseball earlier, but having made the decision he has received immense support from family and friends. He added "It's a unique opportunity, it's a once in a lifetime thing. This is what dreams are made of as I said earlier. I'm just so excited about it, like everyone's so excited about it."

Powell suggested the WICB had to do more efforts to ensure the top players stay with the team.He said "It's such a proud and historical region, that's produced some of the best players that the world's ever seen, you have to strike an even balance. The West Indies board could do something in terms of the retainer contracts, because you can't have guys losing on the home front and then trying to stop them from losing on the international front as well."

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