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Shimron Hetmyer: The Man Who Is Redefining West Indies Cricket

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Shimron Hetmyer– On a funny note, his name suggests that he will smack the next one! The left-handed wicket-keeper batsman from West Indies who picked up the bat for the first time when he was just 11, is certainly a force to reckon with.

Many feel he could become the ‘Kumara Sangakkara’ of West Indies, while there is also another side of the jury like there always has been. They feel that once Hetmyer develops more muscle strength, he could strike it as hard as the ‘Universe Boss.’ If you talk to people in the West Indian domestic circuit, they would tell you what a special talent the left-handed batsman is. He has a lot of time to play the fast bowlers and is able to read it directly off the hand when a spinner is in action.

Shimron Hetymer vs India
Image Source: Rediff.com

He is attacking, he is destructive, but even at such a young age, he realises the importance of playing to the situation. Even though Shimron Hetmyer likes to hit it like a ‘Tracer Bullet’, he manages to do so playing proper cricketing shots like KL Rahul does, when he opens the batting for India or for the Kings XI Punjab.

Shimron Hetmyer: Early Life

Just a day after Christmas, on the Boxing day of 1996, Shimron Hetmyer was born in Guyana. He started playing cricket when he was a mere 11 years old and the rest they say is history! It all began at the Young Warriors Cricket Club for Hetmyer where his coaches knew straightway that the left-handed gem is certainly going to be a name to be remembered in a few years to come.

ICC Under 19 World Cup 2014

Many don’t know but the southpaw has represented West Indies in the Under-19 World Cup in 2014. Unfortunately for him, it was something he would have liked to forget at the earliest possible as in the 5 games he played, he got out for a duck as many as three times! When the going got tough, Hetmyer all of a sudden began to fade away, and there was a concern, that like so many other Under-19 Cricketers, even Shimron Hetmyer’s story would remain incomplete. It was like a bad dream come true and Shimron needed to wake up!

First Class Debut

After nothing to brag about in the World Cup, Shimron Hetmyer was literally shivering on his debut. He was quite nervous which certainly reflected in his batting. For starters, he dropped a few catches behind the stumps, and just when the time came for Shimron to showcase his ability with the bat, it seemed like he literally froze. Not surprisingly, he departed without troubling the scorers during the first innings and managed to score just 4 runs the second time around. This is not what the doctor ordered for Shimron Hetmyer. There was much more expected from him and time was running out for the young man.

Shimron Hetmyer World Cup
Image Source: SMH

ICC Under 19 World Cup 2016

Destiny gave Shimron Hetmyer another chance, this time as a captain, as he was one of the few rare cricketers who played the Under 19 World Cup twice. He had been there, done that, -Scratch that- He had been there but not done anything the last time around but certainly had the experience, – They always said failure teaches you more than success and that is exactly what happened in the case of the left-handed wicket-keeper batsman. He entered the tournament at the back of some rich domestic form, and was the owner of 158 runs in just 6 games and also scored consecutive half-centuries in the quarter and semi-final. Eventually, his team won the title and ‘Shimron Hetmyer’ just like his coaches predicted, was indeed a household name. Everybody was calling Shimron Hetmyer, a Champion. Interestingly, it was around the same time just when his brother from another mother, Bravo, was about to release his hit song Champion Champion. Just saying…

Shimron Hetmyer: Guyana Amazon Warriors

As you would have observed till now, Shimron is talented but has a habit of firing in patches before suddenly getting into hibernation mode. At the back of a great World Cup, everyone was looking forward to seeing Shimron apply his trade for the Warriors in 2016. For starters, he, unfortunately, got to play only one game, but when you get out without troubling the scorers, you only have yourselves to blame. He was raw, he was young and he failed to make use of the opportunity which certainly left his fans frustrated yet again.

Shimron Hetmyer: West Indies

Test Debut

In an era when mostly all cricketers start their International journey with T20 cricket, Hetmyer, who happens to be an attacking batsman, surprisingly got selected to represent West Indies in the longer format before anything else. While his Test Debut at Kingston against Pakistan on the 21st of April 2017, wasn’t a successful one, he has always boasted of a strike-rate above 70 when it comes to white-ball cricket. The left-handed batsman could only manage a sum of 31 while adding up both his innings but it would have been unfair to judge him on his first audition.

The selectors persisted with him and since then gradually the youngster is still learning the art of Test Cricket and maturing with every game he is playing. Shimron Hetmyer is still raw but certainly has all the ingredients to become a finished product.

One Day International Debut

In Sport, if you’re talented, even if you’re not performing to the best of your ability, you are given more chances and there is nothing wrong with that either. There are certified coaches for a reason in order to find the best player and groom him/her to make them future stars. Who can understand this better than Rohit Sharma who has held his position purely based on his ‘Talent’ and not his form many times in his career? Well, there is nothing wrong in that either and that’s exactly why they say,” Form is temporary, Class is permanent”.

Shimron Hetmyer’s case was a little similar. He got an opportunity to make his ODI debut the same year, 20th December 2017 to be precise. It was during the West Indies tour of New Zealand, in conditions which were completely alien to him, and no it was no fairy-tale debut but he managed to score 29 vital runs on a green pitch and also happened to be the third highest run scorer for his team in the low scoring match. In no time though, he became a very important member of the West Indies outfit and is tipped to be the next big thing in West Indian Cricket. Let’s just hope he doesn’t go the Darren Bravo way though.

T20 Debut

It was on the New Year Day on the 1st of January 2018, against the Kiwis but unfortunately for him, only one team batted in that particular game and that wasn’t his own. The game was abandoned due to rain and Shimron Hetmyer had to wait for another day.

The Arrival Of Shimron Hetmyer

When Bangladesh toured the West Indies during June- July 2018, Shimron Hetmyer finally rectified one thing he always failed to do in the past- Being Consistent. The left-handed batsman scored 86 and 18 in the only Test Match he played and bossed the ODI series with 2  consecutive scores of above 50, one of them being a century, 125 to be precise, just 2 runs short of his highest score of 127.

Shimron Hetmyer: Indian Premier League

With the amount of talent he has, it will not be surprising if he indeed does get a call from one of the franchises during the Indian Premier League 2019. Let’s not forget, he could keep wickets if required, and could also bowl those leg-break googlies. Cric Crak’s question to the IPL Team Owners- “Anyone Reading This? “.

What Gayle Feels About Shimron Hetymer

True story, once Cric Crak who hails from New-Delhi happened to meet Chris Gayle during a promotional event in the capital. I immediately asked Gayle to name a few players who he felt were the future of West Indies Cricket and the very first name he took was of Shimron Hetymer. Gayle further told me that Shimron has been shining for the West Indies ever since he captained the Team during the Under-19 World Cup, and there has been no looking back for the youngster ever since.  The ‘Universe Boss’ hopes that the likes of Shimron Hetmyer and Shai Hope could combine with the experienced ones to help the West Indies taste success in England next year, and maybe even win the ICC World Cup 2019.

Shimron Hetmyer Batting
Image Source: Cricket World

Shimron Hetmyer: ICC World Cup 2019

While there is no doubt that if he continues playing the way he is, he would certainly be on the plane to England in 2019 and we really hope that Hetmyer could be that person to bring back West Indian cricket back on track.

Meanwhile, we wish Shimron all the luck and truly believe that as far as the Windies batting department is concerned, he could make a lot of difference… he could be the difference rather and we shall leave it to that.

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