Right on time

Right on time

Pacer Nicholson Gordon comes to bloom for Jamaica Scorpions

BY SANJAY MYERS
Senior staff reporter
myerss@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, March 27, 2020

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FOR years, Jamaica Scorpions pace bowler Nicholson Gordon bided his time on the sidelines as others came and went.

He got the odd chance here and there, but was never given a sustained run so he could settle into a groove.

A naturally hard worker and a strong believer in divinity, Gordon was certain his time would come.

And he was right.

After looking on for the first nine games of last season's regional four-day tournament he was given the customary rare opportunity in the final-round contest against Trinidad and Tobago Red Force.

Gordon, who hails from Petersville District near Whitehouse in Westmoreland, claimed nine wickets in the match, including career-best innings figures of 7-70.

Given a sustained run this season, he extended that form. The former West Indies Under-19 representative featured in five of the Scorpions' opening six matches, tallying 17 wickets at an impressive average of 19.47.

Most eye-catching was his 6-45 return in the second innings of the loss to Barbados Pride at Sabina Park.

“I guess now is just the right time and right place [to make a meaningful breakthrough],” the 28-year-old seam bowler told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.

He was key to the Scorpions finishing the league with 91.8 points, joint-third with former champions Guyana Jaguars.

The Pride (134.8 points) comfortably won the six-team competition, which was brought to a premature end with only eight of the 10 rounds played due to health concerns arising from the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Trinidad and Tobago Red Force (94.6 points) were runners-up, while Windward Islands Volcanoes (78) and Leeward Islands Hurricanes (52.8) were fifth and last, respectively.

It hasn't been all smooth sailing for Gordon this campaign.

He suffered a groin strain in the Scorpions' sixth-round loss to the Jaguars in Trelawny just when he appeared set for a 30-wicket season.

And though clearly struggling, his commitment to the cause was there for all to see as he stretched and flexed beyond the boundary ropes in hopes of retaking the field. Eventually, good sense prevailed and he retreated to the dressing room.

He was sidelined for the seventh and eighth rounds.

“It was tough for me, but I looked back and said, 'I waited patiently for the opportunity to come and God sees and knows what I've done leading up to that point.'

“I'm staying positive knowing that God knows the reason that happened. I just have to control what I can, and do what I have to do to be ready at the next opportunity,” Gordon said.

“I've been doing physiotherapy work to strengthen and stuff like [that]. I'm not feeling any discomfort at this point in time.

“It took about two weeks to recover, so I've been ready since. I did some bowling at home and I also went down to Sabina Park in the indoor [practice nets] and did a bit of bowling as well. It [the injury] is not playing on my mind either, but before, when I just started back the physical work, it was playing on my mind,” he explained.

The season-curtailing clutch of the COVID-19 is the latest obstacle.

But, the tough competitor that he is, Gordon is rolling with the punches.

“We, as players, have no control over that [the shortened season], so we have to train and just remain positive and do what we have to do.

“I started [the season] very well, and now I don't have the chance to finish off because of the virus. But I have to continue to be positive and keep working hard and keep trying to do well. My focus and hard work [give me an edge] and I always believe in myself. I've just been patient and got the opportunity and I jumped at it, and now I want to hold that chance,” he told the Observer.

Gordon comes from strong cricketing background.

While he plays for Kensington Cricket Club in the capital Kingston, the foundation was set at the Whitehouse-located New Hope Primary and Junior High, a school that has produced Test cricketer Jermaine Blackwood and Jamaican players such as Derval Green and Jason Dawes.

Along the way he has picked up strategies that have aided his development.

“I always spend time back home doing my thing — I call it hide and train. I like to spend time by myself doing strength work and stuff like that. I always set myself to do extra work. When I get out people say, 'Boy, you are fit and strong,' but it is the work that I am doing back at home,” he emphasised.


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