‘Extraordinary talent and steadfast dedication’: Windies lock up Shamar Joseph as T20 leagues circle
West Indies fast bowling sensation Shamar Joseph declared after his match-winning seven-wicket haul against Australia at the Gabba that Test cricket was his number one priority – and his country’s cricket board has swiftly moved to ensure he’s as good as his word.
The 24-year old has been rewarded for his heroics down under with an international retainer contract, which will require him to prioritise international cricket over the lucrative franchise T20 leagues keenly pursuing him.
While Joseph will still be able to feature in the upcoming Pakistan Super League, where he was snapped up by Peshawar Zalmi, the new contract with West Indies Cricket ties him to representing the island nations at June’s T20 World Cup, as well as in a three-Test series in England shortly after.
“As exhilarated as we are, it is also dutiful to elevate Shamar Joseph to a CWI international retainer contract,” West Indies cricket director Enoch Lewis said in a statement.
“His extraordinary talent and steadfast dedication serve as the cornerstone of our team’s recent triumph at the Gabba, and such promise merits its due recognition.
“Shamar has not just been rewarded with a retained contract, he has earned it.”
Joseph established himself as an instant cricket star with his feats in the Windies’ 1-1 series tie with Australia, in which he claimed 13 wickets at 17.3 – including two five-wicket hauls, the scalp of Steve Smith with his first ball in Test cricket, and most famously, a stunning 7/68 in the second innings at the Gabba to seal his team their first Test victory over Australia in Australia since 1997.
Bowling through a badly injured toe which has since forced him to withdraw from his ILT20 stint with the Dubai Capitals, the 24-year old touched 150 km/h with the ball.
Speaking after the match, Joseph won even more acclaim – including from West Indies legend Brian Lara – by pledging his future to international cricket, and Tests specifically.
“This is my dream, to play cricket for the West Indies,” he said in his post-match press conference.
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“I’m not afraid to say this. I will always be available to play for the West Indies, no matter how much money comes towards me. I will always be here to play Test cricket.”