KHULNA, Bangladesh -- Kyle Hope said he wanted to make his double hundred for the Sagicor High Performance Centre (HPC) the beginning of bigger and better things in his playing career.
Hope was undefeated on 214, leading the Sagicor HPC to 521 for eight in their first innings against the Bangladesh Cricket Board Academy on the second day of their four-day, tour match at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium before rain that started during lunch prompted an early close on Monday.
Hope said his preparation for the tour and the match was way above anything he had done previously, and he planned to keep up the same work rate in the future.
“I want to carry this level of preparation into first-class cricket,” said Hope, who has played at the senior regional level for his native Barbados and composite side, Combined Campuses & Colleges without making a big splash.
“It was the first double hundred of my career and it was nice to finally pass that mark. I thought I paced the innings pretty well. I didn’t get carried away with the quick outfield, the slow bowling, and whatever.
“I kind of stuck to my game plan and the stuff that I have been working on over the last few months at the Sagicor HPC, as well as the things that have worked for me throughout my career and all of it came together.”
Hope said the hard work he had endured since the second squad of HPC players took up residence last June had made him fitter and stronger.
“Physically, I am a lot fitter than before,” he said. “I was fit before, but the Sagicor HPC has carried it to a different level.
“When I talk about preparation, being at the Sagicor HPC has helped me to understand my game a bit more. It has helped me to develop what works for me and what does not work for me.
He added: “So I was able to find ways to score runs, when the environment is not something to which I am accustomed. Things like the crowd, the outfield, the surroundings, they did not matter because my preparation was up to standard.
“I am hoping to take my successes forward and hopefully continue to get big scores in whatever cricket I play – first-class, domestic, taped-ball – I’m just looking to get a hundred in every form of the game whenever I play.”
Hope said it was an eye-opening experience batting with some of his teammates.
He shared century partnerships with opener Andre Fletcher and all-rounder Keddy Lesporis, while he put on 93 for the eighth wicket with guest player Veerasammy Permaul.
Fletcher scored 105, Lesporis made 97, and Permaul supported with 42.
“I enjoyed batting with them all,” he said. “It was a bit different batting with each guy. Each one has his own style of play. We enjoyed our time in the middle.
“It was nice to bat with players against whom you play more often than not in first-class cricket. It was nice to see how they think and how they play. When the total is 521 for eight or 420 for four, you can only enjoy the time in the middle.”
Hope said he was most proud to endure the humid weather, which was energy-sapping, and the tidy spells from the BCB Academy bowlers, particularly the spinners.
“I have always considered myself a fairly good player against spin bowling,” he said. “The pitch did not spin very quickly, and it was quite similar to pitches back at home, so the challenge was there to keep concentrating.
“I found it pretty easy to use my feet and work around the ball, so I didn’t have much of a problem adapting to the spin.”
He said: “I did feel a bit sapped by the hot weather. It is similar to a place like Guyana, but the heat is something different. You are drained in no time.
“Dealing with the heat and the opposition, your surroundings, your environment, staying focussed and keeping your concentration, while the elements are going against you was a challenge in itself.”
The Sagicor HPC team is on a month-long trip to Bangladesh.