Saturday, 30 April 2016, 02:47pm
Kieran Powell determined to continue journey in cricket and baseball
Having grown disillusioned with the Windies set-up last year, the left-handed opening batsman opted to try his luck at baseball and was invited to the New York Mets' training camp in Florida over the winter.
Powell relished the opportunity and says he has received plenty of positive feedback, with several MLB franchises apparently keen on following up an interest.
But the 26-year-old put those aims temporarily on hold and, following a request from Windies coach Phil Simmons, made his return to cricket after 12 months away from the game, playing two first-class matches.
Representing Leeward Islands, Powell marked his comeback with a fluent half-century last month and has now made himself available for international cricket once more.
"Obviously cricket has always been my first love. It's something that comes naturally to me and I'm really good at it," he told Press Association Sport.
"That's why I'm back playing first-class cricket. I'm fully ready whenever they (West Indies) need me . Phil Simmons wanted me to play the games to make myself eligible for selection. I've fulfilled my end of the bargain."
Powell has made 50 appearances for the Windies across all formats and distinguished himself in the Test side with three centuries in 21 matches, including two tons in one game against Bangladesh in Dhaka in 2012.
"I saw that (selector) Courtney Browne had mentioned my name in an interview saying something about opening batsmen and positions being available," he added.
"I think my return has already opened the minds of the selectors to my possible return to international cricket."
Not that Powell is limiting himself to just one sport, however.
"I want to play both sports and be in the mould of (former MLB and NFL players) a Deion Sanders or a Bo Jackson," he said.
"Baseball is a great sport, it's a great opportunity that I had and I'm learning from it and enjoying it. The trial that I had at the Mets facility, it was a really amazing facility, everything was well organised and well ran.
"Lots of teams are actually interested in seeing me again, obviously because that was the first time that they'd seen me and they like to look at players over a longer period of time, they want to see players in camps, see how they work out for them so that they can test specific things as opposed to just a general workout."
Powell, who last represented the Windies almost two years ago, feels his time in the United States could boost his batting.
"It's the only sport that is somewhat similar to baseball because of the hand-eye coordination in terms of hitting a ball with a bat," he said.
"I can see how the baseball training has really helped my batting in terms of picking up the ball and hitting the ball. I'm seeing it a lot easier, a lot earlier and am able to make up my mind what shots to play."
However, Powell admitted his return to cricket was far from ideal.
"It's sort of like taking a shark out of water and then setting it back in. You need to learn to swim again," he said.
He need not have worried, though, after plundering 55 from 54 balls in his first innings back, with Powell joking: "I had Shivnarine Chanderpaul say in the match 'you've been playing cricket all along, you've been tricking us!'"
As for whether he can now force his way back into the international reckoning, he added: "They know my number, they know my email address so they can get in contact with me. I'm willing to open dialogue and see where it goes."
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Kieran Powell is eager to play international cricket again