GROS ISLET, St Lucia, CMC – West Indies head coach Stuart Law has identified young stroke-maker Shai Hope as one with immense promise and whose professionalism can take him far in the game.
The 23-year-old copped the Man-of-the-Match award for his crucial unbeaten 48 in the second One-Day International against Afghanistan last Sunday which West Indies won by four wickets to level the three-match series.
Hope also top-scored with 35 in the opening game which West Indies lost by 63 runs last Friday and Law said while the right-hander was still developing, he was ticking all the right boxes.
“He’s a class act. He’s very easy on the eye when you watch him bat,” the Australian said.
“At this stage he’s still learning how to play at this level but the steps he’s made since I’ve arrived [have been impressive].”
Hope has been in decent form this year, scoring a career-best 90 against Pakistan in the second Test in Bridgetown in April and also gathering 71 in the third ODI against the same tourists earlier in the month.
Law said while his scoring had not been prolific, the potential was definitely there to become a quality player.
“He didn’t score heavily against England [in March], he got a decent score against Pakistan in the third ODI and he started off well here,” he explained. “He’s a work in progress that’s for sure and definitely one to keep an eye on.”
Hope, who keeps wicket in the one-day format, has played just 10 Tests and 12 ODIs but has already caught Law’s attention with his all-round professionalism.
“One thing that impresses me is not only does he wicket-keep but his work ethic away from cricket is outstanding,” Law pointed out.
“He always presents himself in the best possible shape you can be in and that just goes to show that his consistency in performance is up there because he is able to cope with the stresses and the strain.”