Gayle wants pace sensation Joseph in Windies squad for home World Cup – “He’s strong, he should be in the squad”

Former West Indies cricketer Chris Gayle feels that breakthrough pacer Shamar Joseph is ready to be included in the short-format sides as well after a brilliant first impression.

The right-arm pacer recently came into the limelight during the tour of Australia, where he was crowned player of the series after a memorable spell of 7-68, that guided the Men in Maroon to a rare Test win on Australian soil.

Shamar Joseph has been a revelation for the West Indies in red-ball cricket, with his ability to run in hard and trouble the batters with his pace. However, it can be said that he is unproven in white-ball cricket.

He has played a handful of matches for the Guyana Amazon Warriors in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), but is yet to impress, and yet to open his wickets tally.

The 24-year-old has played only two domestic T20 matches but Gayle says West Indies need Joseph’s firepower at the World Cup.

“He’s strong, he should be in the squad,” Gayle, who launched the T20 World Cup trophy tour in New York on Tuesday, told Reuters in a telephone interview.

“We already have Alzarri Joseph, so to have the two Josephs there (will be great).

“Both might not play at the same time, but we would need him in this squad just in case anybody picks up an injury.

“It’s a good headache to have for the selectors.”

West Indies failed to make the Super 12 stage of the 2022 World Cup in Australia but have registered series victories against South Africa, India and England over the past year.

In Daren Sammy, they have a coach who knows what it takes to win a global trophy having captained West Indies to T20 World Cup titles in 2012 and 2016.

Gayle was happy with the “all-round” look of the group under captain Rovman Powell.

“Andre Russell back in the squad, there’s some more experience in the squad in Jason Holder and Nicholas Pooran,” Gayle said.

“Those guys will have a big part to play for West Indies to lift the trophy.”

A T20 pioneer whose entertaining batting made him a sought-after name in franchise leagues, Gayle said 20-overs cricket had made other formats a lot more result-oriented.

“You watch test cricket these days, it’s played a bit faster than a couple of years back. Teams scoring 300 within a day with ease, that’s because of T20 cricket,” he said.

“It’s the same in 50-overs cricket. Teams can score and chase down 400 as well. Everything has changed in the game, thanks to T20 cricket.”

Gayle, who smashed the first hundred in T20 Internationals at the 2007 World Cup, was pleased to have played his role in the growth of the format.

“Being the first person to score the first T20 century, that was fantastic. I think from there, the game actually blossomed,” Gayle, who played 103 tests and 301 one-day internationals, said.

“When that happened, it just opened the door for other players to realize that there’s an opportunity to get centuries there.”

The World Cup will be played in West Indies and the United States between June 1-29.

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