cricket, SPORTS

Shai Hope — Young, Gifted And Rising Star!

Young, gifted and black
We must begin to tell our young
There’s a world waiting for you
This is a quest that’s just begun

Bob Andy and Marcia Griffiths

Shai Diego Hope is no ordinary youngster when it comes to his passion and commitment to the sports that he has come to love and play — cricket!

The 23-year-old Scorpio born began his earthly journey on November 10, 1993.

Hope, in his quest to become a master of his craft, is said to be always at practice. He began honing his cricketing skills at an early age at his high school in Barbados.

He later joined Bede’s Senior School in East Sussex, England, for the Sixth Form on a scholarship partly funded by the Barbados Cricket Board.

In England, he played under the guidance of former Sussex captain Alan Wells. He captained the School’s First XI in 2012 and 2013, scoring close to a thousand runs across the two years.

Hope, a wicketkeeper, and right-hand batsman, at age 20 made his first-class debut for Barbados against the Windward Islands at Bridgetown, Mar 23-25, 2013, under the captaincy of Kirk Edwards.

However, his breakout year came in the 2014 – 2015 Regional Four Day Competition where he had a superb season, scoring 628 runs in nine matches, including a double century.

He was described then by the late veteran West Indian Cricket writer and commentator Tony Cozier as “A stylish No. 3 batsman.”

He made his Test début against England, May 1, 2015, by batting out of his accustomed position. He did not fare well in his first outing and only managed to score 5 and 9 runs, in both innings, respectively.

In August 2016, he was added to the West Indies squad for their Test series against India, after a dismal performance by Rajendra Chandrika, who made scores of 16, 31, 5 and 1 in the first two Tests, and saw his Test average drop to 14.00, the worst by any West Indies opener who has played 10 or more innings.

Hope made his One Day International (ODI) debut in the second match of the tri-series against Sri Lanka, November 16, 2016.

He scored his maiden ODI century in his second match, on the same tour against Zimbabwe when he scored 101 during a run chase of 257 runs.

His score, however, did not put the Windies in a winning position, as the match ended in a tie, which is the 34th tied ODI match and the first tied ODI match between both teams.

He was adjudged Man of the match for his performance.

In 2017, Hope was a key member of the Barbados team, which won the Regional Super50, scoring centuries in both the semi-final and final and was named the man of the match in both games.

The 23-year-old recently piled up a career-best of 215 not out against Guyana Jaguars in their Regional four-day championship game. It was his second first-class double-hundred, in his burgeoning career.

Today, some of the headlines Hope commands in the in the press are:

Shai Hope century gives Barbados Pride 313 in first innings of Super50 semi

Shai Hope Power Barbados into Regional Super50 Final

Another Hope ton drives Barbados to Regional Super50 title

Hope’s career-best double puts Jaguars on ropes

This young man is certainly one for the future, and if he continues to perform by putting up huge scores on the board, in all format of the game, the Windies will be in good stead.

Carol Maye, Readers Bureau, Fellow

Edited by Jesus Chan

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