Tom Kohler-Cadmore is adamant that Nicholas Pooran is going to be a superstar.
Yorkshire’s short-term West Indian overseas wicketkeeper-batsman is playing only the first five games of this season’s Vitality Blast, with tonight’s televised Roses clash (7pm) at Emerald Headingley his penultimate appearance.
Pooran, 23, smashed 67 off 28 balls in Tuesday night’s win over Leicestershire at Grace Road when the Vikings amassed 255 for two batting first – the second highest total in English T20 history.
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From what I’ve seen, he’s one of the most talented cricketers I’ve ever played with. The ability he has to strike the ball, but it’s not just clean hitting, it’s the different areas he hits.Yorkshire CCC’s Tom Kohler-Cadmore on Nicholas Pooran
The left-hander shared 121 in only 8.1 overs for the second wicket with stand-in captain Kohler-Cadmore, who top-scored with an unbeaten 96.
Given last Friday’s opening North Group fixture with Nottinghamshire at Headingley was washed out, the Lancashire game will be Pooran’s only home appearance before returning to international commitments after Sunday’s trip to Northampton.
“If we had him for a full season, the crowds would come in just to watch him,” said Kohler-Cadmore of the 21-time limited overs international. “That’s how good he is.
“From what I’ve seen, he’s one of the most talented cricketers I’ve ever played with.
“The ability he has to strike the ball, but it’s not just clean hitting, it’s the different areas he hits.
“We saw (against Leicestershire) how powerful he is, and I was lucky to watch it from the other end. He is a very, very special talent.
“His bat swing is so quick that even when he doesn’t middle it, it still goes.
“He has such power for a little guy. His hand speed is so good.
“His first ball the other day against Derbyshire (a shortish ball) from Matt Critchley, most people would have just knocked it for one. But he’s there ready to whack it out of the park because of how quick his feet and hands are. He just picks up length so well.”
Pooran has played in the IPL for Kings XI Punjab, and his coach Mike Hesson, the former New Zealand coach, compared him to Chris Gayle earlier this year.
“I can see why,” said Kohler-Cadmore. “He deserves every bit of credit and comparison he gets.”
Pooran will go up against Lancashire’s overseas Australian Glenn Maxwell, who also has the ability to put bums on seats and wore the White Rose across all formats in 2015.
Maxwell scored a half-century and affected two run outs as Lancashire beat Durham at Old Trafford on Sunday, and they head into the sold-out clash with a win and a no result under their belts.
Yorkshire, meanwhile, have had a no result, a defeat and a win from three games so far.
Kohler-Cadmore was born in Kent but grew up playing age-group cricket for Yorkshire before moving to Worcestershire. So it will be a special occasion for the England Lions man.
He added: “Everyone loves the Lancashire game because of the rivalry. It’s a full house, and all the players on both sides want to put a show on.
“When you win in front of that crowd, there’s no better feeling.
“For some guys, it’s the closest they’ll ever get to international cricket – a sell out at Headingley doesn’t happen for all international games.
“For us, hopefully we can put on a show and get the two points.”
Lancashire, who completed the Blast double last season, also won a thrilling Royal London One-Day Cup clash at Headingley earlier this season by one run.