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First-class ambition

Sookdeosingh aiming for 4-day spot in 2014

By Roger Seepersad

Despite not realising his goal of making the Trinidad and Tobago first-class team, opening batsman Nicholas Sookdeosingh still took a lot of encouragement from the 2013 season.

He was on trial for the T&T Champions League Twenty20 squad but did not make the final team with the T&T selectors opting to go with Adrian Barath, Lendl Simmons and Sookdeosingh’s PowerGen Penal Sports club opening partner Evin Lewis.

But Sookdeosingh did manage to make his senior team debut in the warm-up match ahead of T&T’s departure for the Champions League, signalling that the selectors are keeping him in mind.

Now he has his sights set  on making the T&T first-class team and feels he has a good chance given his success in TTCB domestic season.

The left-handed batsman had a decent season in 2013, scoring two centuries, including a double hundred—210—against F&E Diamond United as PowerGen clinched the Premier Division two-day league title.

He also hit a century in the Premiership Twenty20 tournament to lead his club to that title as well.

“It was the best season in the league that I had so far in my career and I am looking to score more centuries next year,” he said of the last 12 months.

And being part of the national team trials again has given the aggressive opening batsmen a lot of confidence.

“The feeling is great because I have been part of the training squad before and not being able to make the cut in the T&T side is very disappointing but next year I think I have a good chance to make it on the four-day team,” he said.

Missing out on previous occasions has also given Sookdeosingh an idea of what he has to work on to make the team.

He also recognises that it will be a tough battle to make it on the side as an opening batsmen.

“It made me work harder for next season. Preparation has been good so far. The competition for the opening spot is going to be tough with Evin Lewis, Justin Guillen, Adrian Barath, Lendl Simmons,” said Sookdeosingh.

“All these openers have to compete for their place so it is going to be tough but I think I can make it. Scoring a double century and a century, I think I have a good opportunity to make the side and I am confident that once I am consistent I can make the first class team,” he added.

And while T20 cricket is still very much on his mind, Sookdeosingh says, first-class cricket will be at the top of his agenda for 2014.

“T20 has always been in my mind-set but I really want to make the four-day team as well and the 50 over side and hopefully and CPL (Caribbean Premier League) Twenty20 franchise.

“In terms of my priority, I would say making the four-day team is at the top of my list because Test match cricket is very interesting. It is a game of concentration and a true test so I really want to be part of that,” 

“I have been training hard as usual (but) not being selected for the T&T team motivated me to work harder and to score more big hundreds,” Sookdeosingh added.

The left-hander also thanked his club PowerGen for the role they played in his development and said his teammates and management staff at the club have always supported him.

The standout moments for the left-hander from the 2013 season he said was his double ton and his stunning spell against Queen’s Park which saw him take seven wicket for 27 runs with his leg-spin.

Sookdeosingh will be looking to create many more memorable moments in 2014 as he continues his quest to play at the highest level.

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