20 Facts about Ricardo Powell - The Hitman from West Indies

Ricardo Powell
9 Feb 2001: Ricardo Powell of the West Indies in action, during the second Final of the Carlton One Day International Series between Australia and the West Indies, played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne, Australia. Mandatory Credit: RobertCianflone/ALLSPORT

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Ricardo Powell is considered as one of the cleanest hitters of the cricket ball. Hailing from the land known to produce great cricketers, Ricardo Powell was one of the bright prospects for the West Indian team during the early 2000s and was also compared to the Pakistan’s big hitting player Shahid Afridi. After representing the Caribbean side for over 7 years, Powell decided to take his life beyond the game of cricket.

Here are some interesting facts about Ricardo Powell:

1. Early Life:

Ricardo Powell was born on December 16 1978, at Jamaica. As a young kid, Powell is known to have played cricket on the sandy beaches of the Jamaican coast. A hard-hitting batsman by choice, Powell took very less time to make it to the national side.

2. First-class and List A debut:

Powell made it to the first-class cricket at the age of 19 in the 1996-96 season and followed it up with a List A debut in the following year in 1998-99 season.

3. ODI debut in a World Cup match:

Very rarely do people get a chance to make their debut directly in a World Cup. Ricardo Powell was one such lucky man. He was soon called up in the national side in the same year when he made his List A debut. Powell played his first ODI against Pakistan at Bristol during the 1999 World Cup. His debut was a failure as he could score just 4 off 18 balls. He did not get a chance to play in the rest of the tournament.

4. 50 in the 2nd match:

Powell made his next appearance for the national side against Zimbabwe during the Coca-Cola Singapore Challenge Tri-series. He made an unbeaten 51 of 36 balls hitting 4 sixes and 4 boundaries. He announced himself as the big-hitting batsman and took his side over the line. He followed it up with a 46 against India in the next match.

5. Youngest West Indian to score ODI century:

In the same tournament, he made an even bigger impact in the finals of the tri-series by scoring his maiden ODI century. Chasing India’s total of 254/6, Ricardo Powell single-handedly took the game away from India as he scored a blitzkrieg 124 of 93 balls hitting 8 sixes. He became the youngest West Indian to score an ODI century.

6. Most sixes in an innings:

In his innings of 124 against India, Powell hit 8 sixes in the innings and equaled Gordon Greenidge’s record for most sixes by a West Indies batsman in an ODI innings then. His record was broken in 2008 by Xavier Marshall who hit 12 sixes against Canada and is currently held by Chris Gayle with 16 sixes against Zimbabwe.

7. Camaraderie with India:

Out of all the matches that Ricardo played, his form was never seen consistent. However, he always struck pink when he played against India. He played 12 matches against India and scored 402 runs at an average of 44.66 as against his career average of 24.82. His only century came against India and he even scored a blazing 76 against the sub-continental team at Toronto in 1999 hitting 7 sixes. West Indies were bundled out for 137 in the match and Powell made more than half of their team runs!

8. Comparisons with Sir Viv Richards:

Owing to his stellar performances, 51* in his 2nd match, 124 in his 5th match and 76 in his 8th match, comparisons of Powell with Sir Viv Richards started floating in the media. He was being hailed as the next big thing in the West Indian team which was dipping at that time.

9. Dip in form after early success:

Powell could never be consistent and often had a string of low scores which reflects in his career average. He has played 109 ODIs for West Indies and scored 2085 runs at an average of 24.82. He did spring up with occasional half centuries which kept him in the side but the selectors sidelined him as an ODI player lacking the right temperament for Test cricket.

10. Very short Test career:

Powell made his Test debut in 1999 against New Zealand at Hamilton and scored a duck in his first innings. He followed it up with a 30 of 32 which included 7 boundaries in the 2nd inning but West Indies lost the match by 9 wickets. His next and his last Test appearance was in the match against England in 2004 when Brian Lara scored 400*. Powell could manage just 23. He has represented Windies in just two Test matches.

11. The big hitter:

Powell hit 75 sixes in the 109 ODIs that he played and is the 6th leading six-hitter among West Indian players.

12. Highest strike-rate:

Ricardo Powell has made over 2,000 ODI runs at a strike rate of 96.66, which is the highest strike rate of a West Indies player with more than 1000 ODI runs in ODI history leaving behind the likes of Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard.

13. He could bowl too:

Powell has 11 wickets to his name in the ODIs and often used to chip in with quick overs as a part-timer for the then captains Carl Hooper and Brian Lara. He has the best bowling figures of 2/5 against Zimbabwe.

14. Stint with Trinidad and Tobago:

In 2006, he decided to play for the Trinidad and Tobago in the West Indian domestic circuit. However he had a poor outing as his last five innings with the domestic side yielded the scores of 8, 1, 3, 0*, 0*.

15. Playing for the International XI:

He played for the International XI against the Pakistan All Star in exhibition matches held at Karachi in 2012. He played two games in the series and scored 3 and 5.

16. Personal life:

Ricardo Powell is married to Caribbean TV talk show host Basia Alicia Powell. The couple has two boys, Ricardo Powell Jr and Ross Powell.

17. Away from cricket:

Powell moved from Jamaica in 2003 to his wife’s native country of Trinidad. Powell took a break from the game after his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer.

18. Desire to Play IPL:

During the 2013 IPL auctions, he was one of the overseas players on the list. He had expressed his desire to play cricket again and wanted to play in the IPL. He went in the auction pool with a base price of $50,000. However, unluckily, though, he went unsold.

19. Cricket in US:

Powell has no love lost for the game and still plays the sport professionally and lives in the US where he plays cricket with the Indian Lions Cricket Club.

20. Association with ESPN:

Ricardo Powell currently works with the ESPN as a cricket analyst.