JAMAICAN cricketer Rovman Powell has big dreams.
He reckons he has what it takes to develop into an international star in years to come.
And, for him, the 2016 Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Twenty20 (T20) tournament is just the platform for him to make an announcement to a global audience.
The attacking 22-year-old batsman, who also bowls handy medium pace, has been drafted to play for Jamaica Tallawahs this season. He sees it as a potential window for success.
“It feels really good [being drafted] as it’s a sign that the hard work I have put in over the years is bearing fruit,” Powell told the Jamaica Observer.
“I feel good about the CPL. It provides the opportunity for us as young players to showcase our talent. It’s a means of putting what you have to offer on the table. People can expect me to represent my family, friends and the brand Jamaica Tallawahs well,” he added.
The all-rounder, a native of Old Harbour who played club cricket for St Catherine CC before switching to University of the West Indies (UWI) to honour a scholarship deal, said his first love was track and field.
Powell said he was big on track and field “at primary school level and at early stages of high school”, but decided he would not be successful and turned attention to cricket.
He was captain of Old Harbour High’s cricket team and made the transition to the local club level.
The free-scoring middle-order batsman enjoyed a good season with both bat and ball as UWI recently reached the semi-final of the two-day club competition.
And with the Hero CPL set to begin in a few weeks’ time, Powell has been working to hold onto his competitive edge.
“I am keeping sharp [though] the Senior Cup [club competition] has finished. I am currently in Barbados playing in their domestic T20 and 50-over competitions,” he explained.
He is anxiously waiting to join his teammates in the star-studded Tallawahs squad when they convene for pre-tournament practice.
While Captain Christopher Gayle and all-rounder extraordinaire Andre Russell are Caribbean stars he is familiar with, Powell will also get the chance to rub shoulders with South African fast-bowling great Dale Steyn.
“I’m looking forward to being a part of the Tallawahs set-up and to try to learn as much as I can from the international stars.
“They [Gayle and Russell] both inspire me a lot as they show me that the sky is the limit when you work hard. Andre is closer to me, therefore I watch how he goes about his business while on the cricket field.
“It is also my aim to have a similar impact on the world as they have. They have done extremely well in showing us that there is still a place in the world for you, even when you are from humble beginnings,” said the confident-talking player.
Englishman Paul Nixon is the head coach of the Jamaica franchise for this campaign.
Nixon, who guided the Tallawahs to the inaugural title in 2013, replaced South African Mickey Arthur, who was recently appointed Pakistan coach.
The 2016 CPL T20 is scheduled to run from late June to early August.
The Tallawahs are slated to host four matches in July at Sabina Park.
They play against Guyana Amazon Warriors on July 15 before meeting St Kitts and Nevis Patriots the following day.
They oppose reigning champions Trinbago Knight Riders — formerly Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel — on July 18, then close out against 2014 winners Barbados Tridents on July 20.
All the Tallawahs’ home games are scheduled to begin at 8 pm, except the one against the Patriots which starts at 6 pm.