Shamar Joseph said no amount of money from Twenty20 leagues can lure him away from Test cricket after his legendary spell of bowling helped the West Indies stun Australia by eight runs in the second and final Test at the Gabba on Saturday.
Joseph, who claimed a remarkable 7/68 in the second innings despite carrying a visible toe injury in Brisbane, asserted that he will pursue his “dream” of playing Test cricket, prioritizing red-ball cricket over the shortest format of the game.
His statement comes as a breath of fresh air, considering the path taken by his predecessors and contemporaries in the Caribbean and across the world, in general.
“I’m not afraid to say this. There will be times when T20 cricket might come around. Test cricket will be there. And I will say this live. I will always be available to play for the West Indies, no matter how much money it takes or come towards me. So, I will always be here to play Test cricket,” Joseph said, as quoted in Sydney Morning Herald, after his heroic display.
West Indies legend Brian Lara was in tears upon seeing his team win a Test on Australia soil after 27 years, hugging fellow commentator and Australia great Adam Gilchrist, the moment Joseph took the last Australia wicket before going for a victory sprint while his teammates chased him till the boundary ropes.
Shamar Joseph is the best thing to happen to Test cricket in ages.
And he says he’ll be available to play it whenever the West Indies needs him. ❤️
— ABC SPORT (@abcsport) January 29, 2024
Shamar Joseph’s journey to an international Test debut is nothing short of incredible. Coming from the tiny, internet-deprived community of Baracara in Guyana — a maroon village of 350 people surviving on farming and logging — his story is a true testament to overcoming challenges.
Despite Baracara lacking cricket infrastructure, Joseph’s passion for the game led him to play taped-ball games with makeshift equipment, emulating his idols Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh.
Joseph told Cricbuzz in Adelaide three days before this week’s Test debut. “I started off in a construction company. But I wasn’t very good at my job. I am scared of heights and this job involved working at great heights, so I just ended up becoming a labourer there.” After that, he landed a job as a security guard and worked 12-hour shifts.
Joseph was one of four debutants who played for the West Indies across the two Tests, with seven missing from the squad who toured Australia last year. His dismissal of Steve Smith on the first ball of the Test added to his implausible narrative.