FORMER West Indies Under-19 player Jyd Goolie said he is not rushing the process and thinking about earning selection on the West Indies senior team after being rewarded his first professional contract with the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force cricket team, on Tuesday.
The Red Force chose Goolie and Kirstan Kallicharan in the Cricket West Indies Professional Players Draft for the 2021/2022 season. A total of 15 players are now on the Red Force squad as 13 players were retained before the draft.
Goolie and Kallicharan were both members of the West Indies Under-19 team which won the International Cricket Council Under-19 World Cup in 2016.
Goolie, 24, is a left-handed batsman and a part-time off-spin bowler.
Goolie, who has played four first-class matches, announced himself in the West Indies Four-Day Championship last year with his maiden century in round eight of the competition. Following that match, the tournament was called off because of the covid19 pandemic.
On Wednesday, speaking with Newsday, Goolie said, “(I am) firstly thankful for the opportunity. (It is) a tremendous feeling to be part of the 15 contracted players for your country. I have been working hard and putting in the extra effort and the rewards are coming in now.”
Goolie said he has been working on all aspects of his game in recent years. “A lot actually (I have been working on) – fitness-wise, batting, bowling, even mental (work).”
Goolie, who joined Queen’s Park Cricket Club last year, has been training alongside stars like Sunil Narine, Dwayne Bravo, Darren Bravo and West Indies 50-Over and T20 captain Kieron Pollard. Goolie said he is willing to seek advice from senior players.
During the covid19 downtime, Goolie said he has been doing personal work at home in South Oropouche.
Asked how he feels about his progress over the last few years, Goolie said, “A big improvement (I have seen)…every single game I play I look at myself and say ‘I made a couple mistakes and I could better myself in this way.’”
The 2016 West Indies Under-19 team have produced many players who are already playing for the West Indies senior team or are consistent members of franchise teams in CWI tournaments.
Shimron Hetmyer, who was the Under-19 captain, along with Alzarri Joseph, Chemar Holder and Keemo Paul have all played for the West Indies senior team. Kaecy Carty, Emmanuel Stewart and Ryan John are among those who have moved on to play senior cricket.
Goolie said he is not setting a specific target as to when he wants to earn selection on the West Indies senior team. “For me, I don’t want to rush my process. (One of) my first couple goals was to score my first ever hundred for my country, so I could tick that off the list. The second was earning a contract for TT Red Force…the next step is West Indies. (I am) hoping that if things do open back up we get the opportunity to play four-day cricket. I just want to continue my good form because the last game I scored a hundred. It was a great feeling as well.”
The former West Indies Under-19 player said Red Force selected a competitive squad.
“It is a pretty strong team – all-round batting, bowling and there are experienced players as well. I think the coach (David Furlonge) is a very good coach as well too. He believes in us and he works hard. He is always there to show us right from wrong and I think the team we have we can do well and win the PCL (Professional Four-Day Cricket League) tournament.”