Nicholas Pooran returns to Yorkshire for T20 Blast

Nicholas Pooran fields Getty Images

Nicholas Pooran has agreed a return to Headingley for next summer's Vitality Blast, after impressing during his brief spell at the club in 2019.

Pooran, one of the rising stars of West Indies cricket, will be available for the majority of Yorkshire's North-Group matches in 2020, subject to international commitments.

"I'm very happy to be returning to Headingley for next season's T20 Blast," he said. "I really enjoyed my short stint there after the World Cup and feel I have a bit of unfinished business with the weather winning in a couple of the games I was scheduled to play in 2019.

"I look forward to catching up with my team-mates in 2020."

A member of the West Indies squad at this summer's World Cup, Pooran top-scored with 63 in defeat against the eventual champions, England, at Southampton, before making a brilliant 118 in a spirited run-chase against Sri Lanka at Chester-le-Street.

He subsequently featured in three of a scheduled five Blast matches for Yorkshire, including a memorable 67 off 28 balls to defeat Leicestershire at Grace Road. His innings helped Yorkshire to 255 for 2 - the second highest total in English T20 history.

In the Caribbean Super League, Pooran helped guide the Guyana Amazon Warriors to a perfect 10 from 10 - winning all the club's group-stage matches before losing out to Barbados Tridents in the final.

"We all got a glimpse of what a special player he is [last season]," said Andrew Gale, Yorkshire's first-team coach. "He is box office. In T20 cricket, you always look down the team sheet to see who can win you a game, and Pooran is a guy that can win you a game on his own.

"We saw how well he played at Leicester. I thought that he was going to get us over the line in the Roses game as well where he played really well. He showed us what he is about.

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"We brought Nicholas in for what we could afford last year. With more funds available, we wanted to bring somebody in for a longer period of time. To get him for a major chunk of the competition is a big plus for us. He fitted into the dressing room really well.

"Nicholas brings you two places in the team as he keeps wicket as well. When he is on with the bat, he is as explosive as anyone in world cricket."

Pooran's unveiling comes in the same week that Dawid Malan completed his own move from Middlesex to Yorkshire, and Gale anticipated the two players would have a significant impact for the club.

"In both players you are getting proven players in the T20 format, and proven match winners," Gale said. "It certainly gives us lots more experience in our line-up.

"I felt that last year, we missed out on close games when the pressure was on. At the back end of games, we couldn't get over the line, and bringing in experienced players helps you with that. It brings a calmness and coolness under pressure. Getting these two guys should give us that calmness."

Martyn Moxon, Yorkshire's Director of Cricket, said: "From the end of his time with us last year, we said that we wanted to keep in touch and keep him as an option for this summer.

"We are pleased that it has worked out that way. He is a player with an incredible talent and such an explosive player. We feel that he will be a great addition to our T20 Blast squad.

"We are adding quality to our squad. We want to make a real effort to win the competition. Bringing in Dawid and Nicholas is a massive boost to the quality of the squad. We have some talented batsmen already at the club, but these two additions are really making us, on paper, a strong outfit."