• Hope toyed with idea of playing for England

    West Indian batsman Shai Hope considered qualifying to play for England.

    Hope studied in the United Kingdom in 2012 and 2013 – and had the opportunity to replicate all-rounder Chris Jordan’s path. Jordan was born in Barbados, but has since played eight Tests, 31 ODIs and 35 T20Is for England.

    ‘It was a thought. You’ve got to look around at your competitors and see who’s vying for the same positions as you. You look at your options. At that particular stage, it crossed my mind,’ said Hope.

    ‘But I never really wanted to do that. I always wanted to play for West Indies. I’m a West Indian. I grew up here and I want to play for West Indies. I wouldn’t do anything different. I’m pleased with my decision.’

    The Bridgetown-born Jofra Archer, meanwhile, is in contention for a berth in England’s World Cup squad. The fast bowler will qualify to play for the English later this year.

    ‘I’m good friends with Chris and Jofra. They seized their opportunity, so I’m sure they’re happy with where they are right now. It’s their choice. They’re human beings and they have minds for themselves. It’s up to them,’ added Hope.

    The talented Hope struck twin centuries against England in August 2017, when 147 and 118 not out carried the tourists to a famous five-wicket win in the second Test at Headingley in Leeds.

    ‘It really was a big motivator. I think I can speak for the rest of the guys in saying that as well. Knowing what people were saying about us, we used it as a big motivator to put in a big performance. We knew the series was at stake,’ he added.

    ‘We’ll use that as a motivator again. We’ll know that everyone is against us. We’re so-called underdogs. But we know that, if we play our cricket, we’re going to beat these guys.’

    The West Indies and England’s three-Test series will start this week.

    Photo: Getty

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