Nichola Kirton: Bestraddling Two Worlds!

Born, May 6, 1998 in Barbados
and now aged 24 years, 8
months and counting, Nicholas
Rasheed Kirton has of late been
straddling two cricket worlds. Those of
his native Barbados as well as Canada,
his adopted home.

His mother being Canadian-born of
Bajan heritage and his father a 100%
pure son of “the Rock,’ Kirton enjoys
the privilege of playing cricket for either
country, whenever it becomes most
convenient for him to do so.

As a left-handed middle-order batsman,
he has to date appeared in just 8 List
A matches for Canada. By comparison
his appearances in Barbados’ blue and
yellow colours have been much more
numerous, 46 in total already, comprised
of 5 T20Is, 3 First Class, 30 List A and 8

Kirton has, however, been far more
impressive when playing for Canada than
Barbados. His 8 matches in Canadian
colours thus far have produced 299 runs
from 7 innings batted for an impressive
59.80 average. Those runs have also
been graced with a century, 108 not
out scored against Vanuatu during last
July’s Canadian hosted ICC World Cup
Challenge League A Second Round.

Kirton’s Challenge League A second
round performances were sufficient to
earn his spot on the Canadian squad
to Malaysia this past December for
the tournament’s third and final round.
Canada played unbeaten throughout the
tournament to emerge as champions,
thereby progressing to the 2023 ICC
World Cup next qualification round.
Kirton recorded a half-century during
the tournament. His 81-ball 65 not out
against Qatar was punctuated by 2 sixes
and 3 fours and scored at a strike rate of
80.25. He only played in two more of Canada’s scheduled
matches, scoring 11 against Singapore and 30 against the
tournament hosts Malaysia.

Canada’s next round of the aforementioned ICC 2023
World Cup Qualifiers will be in Namibia this coming
March month end. Fully expected to be a member of
the selected Canadian squad for the tournament, Kirton
could possibly, however, find himself faced with a bit of a
scheduling conflict.

With seven of its regular starting XI players having been
called to West Indies duties for the two-Test tour to
Zimbabwe, the Barbados Pride has also selected Nicholas
Kirton to its squad for the first two rounds of 2023
Caribbean Regional 4Day Championships, which starts
on Tuesday, January 31 and concludes on February 11.

The 2023 Caribbean Regional Championships’ third
round will begin on March 15 by which time Barbados’
West Indies players would have returned from their
Zimbabwe tour duties. Under normal circumstances, with
all the front-line players back home and fully available,
Nicholas Kirton would not be expected to make the
Barbados Pride squad. Outstanding performances by the
stylish, young left-hander in both matches of the opening
round could, however, change all that in a jiffy.

Furthermore, should Kirton indeed score big in both of
his Barbados Pride Regional 4day First Round matches, he
could even by so doing stick his hand up for selection to
the West Indies squad for the tour to South Africa which
gets underway just a few days later. Such is the fragility
of the current West Indies batting middle order, and the
associated existence of opportunities for anyone with a
broad bat and big scores to announce themselves to the
Selectors attention.

If any such wonderful outcome were to befall Nicholas
Kirton, his two countries’bestraddling act would, however,
come to a grinding halt. While the ICC’s regulations
allow him to play first-class cricket for either Canada or
Barbados they would not grant the same dual privileges
in relation to the West Indies. It would have to be one or
the other, Canada or the West Indies. Much like Haydn
Walsh’s recent forced choice between continuing to play
for the USA, or opting to pursue a career in West Indies
cricket, the latter being his chosen option.

That’s a bridge Kirton will have to decide how to cross, if
and when it ever becomes necessary. In the interim, he can
continue to enjoy having the best of both his Barbadian
and Canadian cricket worlds!

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