Who is Yannic Cariah, the West Indies player who earned his maiden World Cup call-up?
Cariah will be a part of West Indies' campaign as they look to make it to the World Cup Super 12
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Yannic Cariah was an unexpected addition to the West Indies roster for the T20 World Cup that will take place in Australia between October 16 to November 13. In his first series against New Zealand on the international stage last month, the 30-year-old made an impression with both the bat and ball, which helped him quickly make his way into the West Indies lineup.
In order to find a place in the Super 12 of the T20 World Cup, West Indies must first qualify by competing against Scotland, Zimbabwe, and Ireland in the first round in Hobart. Cariah made his way into the team as a replacement player for an injured Gudakesh Motie, the team’s left-arm fingerspinner who recovering from a finger fracture at the time.
Cariah represented West Indies in the opening fixture of the ODI series against New Zealand in Bridgetown. Although he hasn't played in a T20I since 2016, he has been a more reliable force on the domestic front ever since he started playing for the Trinbago Knight Riders. The T20 World Cup will mark Cariah's second international competition.
Cariah's long yet fruitful journey
With eight wickets in six matches and an economy rate of 4.21 at the 2010 Youth World Cup in New Zealand, Cariah was the second-highest wicket-taker for the West Indies U-19 team. Jason Holder and Kraigg Brathwaite, two players from that group, went on to lead the West Indies national side as captains. However, Cariah is a late bloomer because he made his debut in international cricket late in August 2022.
Cariah performed admirably in his maiden international match, registering 1/49 in nine overs and contributing to West Indies' lone ODI victory during their recent home campaign. Then, in his maiden game with the bat against New Zealand in the second ODI, Cariah spearheaded a late comeback by scoring 50 runs and putting on a record-breaking 85-run stand for the ninth-wicket with Alzarri Joseph, off just 64 deliveries.
The West Indies have never had a higher ninth-wicket stand in ODI cricket. Coming into the game under a pressure situation, when West Indies was struggling at 27/6 in a hurried 212-run chase from 41 overs, Cariah demonstrated the tenacity that has brought him glory in Trinidad at the regional level by beautifully smashing New Zealand's spinners.
In June this year, Cariah led the WICB XI against a visiting Bangladeshi team in Coolidge. Cariah bagged a hat-trick for Queen's Park Cricket Club earlier in May, which helped them win the TTCB (Trinidad & Tobago Cricket Board) T20 championship. In December 2019, he also guided the West Indies Emerging squad to their first Super 50 victory.
Though Cariah has not seen the intricacies of the international setup, he has seen success with multiple teams that he has played for at the regional level. The amount of experience that Cariah will bring into the West indies lineup will be huge, and the Caribbean side would hope for some game-changing contributions from Cariah as they aim towards sealing a Super 12 berth at the World Cup.