• Home
  • Featured News
  • Shamar Joseph Test Hero Ipl Fame Why Young Pacer Needs To Be Careful

 Shamar Joseph, Test Hero & IPL Money: Why Young Pacer Needs To Be Careful?

image-lsk9zpo0Shamar Joseph (X.com)

It is not uncommon today for a cricketer who excels in the white ball version of the game, pulling crowds together due to sheer on-field excellence to fetch lucrative T20 contracts. 

Such has been the trend that several names that were once just newbies went onto become hot sellers and the subject of prime time T20 entertainment in countless leagues around the world having first impressed (one and all) while donning the national jersey.  

And while there is the posh and successful side of this in that such fortune-changing act makes you besides a national sporting headline, one of the most desired commodities in cricket; there’s a flip side too. 

The West Indies would know a thing or two about it, for as long as the successful T20 specialist, Kieron Pollard, now recognised as a great of the format, played the game for his West Indies, much like his famous compatriot, Dwayne Bravo, he kept appearing in countless leagues around the world. 

Prominent losses incurred by the national team in the wake of T20 signings

There were instances where endless headlines attacked his national commitment vis-a-vis the seemingly ceaseless desire to play buck-spinning T20 leagues. 

Not that these popular Windies names didn’t want to or didn’t feature in dozens of contests for national duty; somewhere the growing grouse between selectors and administrators on the one hand and their commitment to other rising T20 leagues led to an atmosphere that was partly controversial and partly unnecessary. 

The same happened to Darren Sammy, another great T20I career responsible for two World Cup wins and one that could’ve gone on for long, but was cut short by embitterment between the board and the player. 

When not done in by abrupt and half clear selection policies, the West Indies cricket has gone on to suffer the most in that there’s been a case of mass exodus of talent that’s so often overlooked national priorities and focused attention elsewhere. 

 Not that their players do not have the desire to represent the country; but why their interests cannot be protected and what real difficulties actually make their continued participation a tough act is something we perhaps won’t fully understand unless absolute transparency emerged in such a vital matter. 

But having said it all, what one does understand and in no uncertain terms, is that there could be a possibility, not that it is an affirmative, but a possibility nonetheless, that another rising career could go down the T20 league way. 

The big new signing 

And this is about Shamar Joseph, the Guyanese fast bowling sensation, who just recently has been signed by the big Lucknow SuperGiants T20 team in the world famous IPL. 

What is clear is that Joseph has been signed by the noted IPL outfit to cover up for the unavailable Mark Wood for the forthcoming edition of the IPL. 

But it is beyond any speck of doubt that the West Indies cannot ill afford to have the prime focus of one of their best current fast bowlers to wither away. It can’t be that Joseph’s priorities eventually lie elsewhere- unless he himself opts for it- for the talented speedster is needed the most by the national team. 

Quite frankly, it will be a travesty of a kind in that such damage would be simply irreversible. 

The value of the other, rising Joseph

Even as the dust settles over what is already a series loss to Australia, the visitors going down to Oz in both white ball formats, the greatest source of joy and quite possibly, the biggest achievement of the West Indies national side in this new year came courtesy Shamar Joseph. 

His rip roaring and brave bowling spell at the Gabba that saw 7 brilliant wickets rocked Australia, broke their back and saw the Windies win against the best current Test side; forget not the winners of the World Test Championship. Joseph’s commitment to excel for his West Indies and belief in his abilities was by far, the best sight; something to savour. 

Where Shamar is actually needed 

At a time where the West Indies no longer have Shannon Gabriel featuring regularly in red ball cricket and where Kemar Roach, a few away from 300 Test scalps, isn’t getting any younger, Joseph being lost to the attractive pull of T20 cricket leagues will be a damning blow. Not that they do not have capable fast bowlers. 

Gladly, Alzarri Joseph has made himself available to the national cause and balanced beautifully his IPL commitment and Windies representation. Forget not, he plays for the huge Gujarat franchise.  

Then there’s a capable bowler in Miguel Cummins who’s already somewhere lost in the unknown. Jason Holder, who most recently declined a central contract that would enable the board to retain him for Test duty, is, whether one believes it or not, a blow. He’s clearly been the best all round Test cricketer in the Caribbean. 

Under such circumstances, Shamar Joseph’s electric rise and prominent match winning efforts thousands of miles away from the breezy Caribbean comfort resorted faith that not all was going downhill for the West Indies cricket. 

Therefore, for as long as Shamar Joseph can commit himself - and one notes, that’ll be the ideal thing- to a long term future with the West Indies national team, it’ll just be the thing that his unit will need. No one is saying don’t play T20. It’ll only widen his skill set and give a chance to face potent batters. But there’s got to be some clear decision making on the part of the young man from humble beginnings. 

Shamar Joseph must think hard 

Should he prioritise West Indies cricket, it’ll bring fans great joy and elevate the West Indies to a rather familiar position of having produced high quality fast bowlers as seen before. 

But if one signing too many grabs Shamar Joseph elsewhere away from where his powers could guide an often fragile Windies to some sort of normality and improvement, it’ll be just terrible for the West Indies.