"I hit a lot of sixes, big sixes like him," Evin Lewis said when asked why he chose Chris Gayle as his mentor. For an upcoming left-handed opening batsman, especially in the modern game, that's a fairly smart pick.
Lewis moved up the ranks playing age-group cricket for Trinidad & Tobago, and was part of a championship winning Under-19 side in 2008. His List A debut came in October 2009, when he struck a half-century playing for West Indies U-19s. The following January he was representing them at the World Cup.
Like Gayle, Lewis' best has come in the T20 circuit. In 2013, he was Trinidad & Tobago's top-scorer in the Champions League with a strike-rate of 141.61. He showed big-match credentials, striking 62 off 46 balls in the semi-final against a Mumbai Indians attack comprising Mitchell Johnson and Harbhajan Singh. The following year, at the Caribbean Premier League, he made 321 runs from eight innings, the most by a T&T Red Steel batsman and only 42 behind Gayle, who had played 11 innings.
By this time, Lewis began to attract overseas interest. He hit 101 not out off 65 balls in his first stint at the Bangladesh Premier League, which paved the way for his first West Indies call-up, for a World T20 no less. Lendl Simmons had been injured for the early part of the 2016 tournament, which helped Lewis' "dream" come true. Ironically, his maiden T20, List A and first-class centuries came after the T&T board took away his domestic contract.