Amir Jangoo

BACK HOME: Amir Jangoo, in Trinidad due to the coronavirus, twice came within 10 runs of a century for Leeward Islands Hurricanes.

Trinidad and Tobago cricketer Amir Jangoo, who was contracted to play for the Leeward Islands Hurricanes in the Cricket West Indies Professional Cricket League, returned to Trinidad in the past week following the CWI’s decision to suspend all regional cricket for 30 days due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Contacted by the Sunday Express, Jangoo confirmed that he was back from Antigua where the Hurricanes played their previous West Indies Championship match against the Jamaica Scorpions, a match Hurricanes lost by an innings and 118 runs.

The left-handed opener/wicketkeeper touched down in Trinidad on Monday afternoon and although he said he had no symptoms of COVID-19, he revealed he was taking all the necessary precautions by self-quarantining.

Jangoo is the third highest run-scorer for the Hurricanes this season with 373 runs from eight matches; he also has the highest batting average in the team (31.08). Leading the Hurricanes batting chart is Kieran Powell with 429 runs while Montcin Hodge is second with 390.

Speaking about his season with the Hurricanes, Jangoo said it has helped him to improve his game.

“It is a different atmosphere and a different environment but at the same time the players, administration and management all welcomed me so it has been pretty comfortable as a player. And I just backed myself and they picked me for a reason so it was just to go out there and perform,” said the 22-year-old.

“I remember having a conversation with Devon Thomas who played for Jamaica Scorpions for a couple of years and he told me this experience will help you and will improve you, and it really did,” he added.

Thus far, Jangoo has played eight matches for the Hurricanes, scoring 90 twice, one against his former franchise the T&T Red Force and the other against defending champions Guyana Jaguars.

“You basically have to perform to stay on the team and that helps you to work extra hard and concentrate longer, and makes you basically improve your game and make every opportunity count,” Jangoo explained.

He said much of the work he has been doing with the Hurricanes has been under head coach Stuart Williams and assistant coach Wilden Cornwall but he insisted that he has not been forced to change too much in terms of his technique.

“I am not really changing much with my batting but I understand my game better and understanding more about batsmanship in terms of 50-over and four-day cricket, so I really think it has helped me improve my game,” Jangoo explained.

Asked to compare his experience with the Red Force and the Hurricanes, Jangoo said: “I think the Leeward Islands, compared to the Red Force, we do a lot more vigorous training in the Leeward Islands.

“We train almost every day but you have to get what you need to get out of the training. Compared to the Red Force, the amount of work demanded is a lot more in terms of more days of training,” he said.

Despite the longer hours, Jangoo said the environment is still pretty comfortable for him.

“I think it is just a relaxed environment. Obviously as an overseas player getting picked for another team, you always have to perform, so there is that added pressure. I think the franchise understands that so I guess I just have to go out there and do what I have to do and once I do my part, everything else will take care of itself.”

Asked about his two scores of 90, Jangoo said he had a plan and was able to execute it on the day.

“I studied the opposition and their bowlers. Obviously, I knew Trinidad and their bowlers, having been on the same team as those guys in the past. So I think I had a good understanding of my game and what I had to do going into the match, and I just had to execute on the field,” he explained.

“It was disappointing not getting triple figures because those two innings came when the team was in very bad positions and getting to triple figures would have helped the team even more, but I guess it just wasn’t meant to be as yet,” he added.

Jangoo also noted that there were some “difficult situations” throughout the season but insisted that he would have learned from his mistakes and that he just wanted to keep on learning and improving his game.

Meanwhile, the future of the 2020 West Indies Championship season remains uncertain.

CWI CEO Johnny Grave said it was too early to say what will be done about the Four-Day Championship if the season cannot restart in a month’s time. “That’s a bit too early for us to say at this stage...we have currently just postponed the final two rounds,” Grave said last week. The Hurricanes are currently last on the six-team standings with 52.8 points while the Barbados Pride are runaway leaders on 134.8 points. The Red Force are second (94.6) and defending champions Guyana Jaguars and Jamaica Scorpions are currently tied for third (91.8).

The Windward Islands Volcanoes are fifth on 78 points.

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