“Mr. Desmond Haynes he talked to me, and he said…” – WI latest recruit Shamar Joseph excited over Aussie Test

West Indies’ latest fast bowling recruit, 24-year-old, Shamar Joseph, said that while he was delighted with his rapid rise to the international ranks, he was not surprised by his selection.

The 24-year-old, who worked for a security firm prior to his switch to professional cricket, made his first-class debut in February 2023 for the Guyana Harpy Eagles against the Barbados Pride.

Joseph played in just three games and took nine wickets to help the Harpy Eagles lift the West Indies Championship title for the sixth time in eight years.

Though his numbers may not have been that impressive, he showed enough promise to be selected as part of the West Indies A squad for their tour of South Africa in December.

The South Africans won the series 2-1 but it was a coming out party for Joseph who was the joint leading wicket taker for the West Indians with 12 wickets at an average of 21.25 and a strike rate of 34.50.

That performance led to him being selected in the West Indies squad for their upcoming two-Test series against the mighty Australia.

He was chosen in the 15-man squad to tour Australia, after playing only five first class matches.

“It didn’t come to me as a surprise but at the same time I was emotional and happy because playing for West Indies was my dream. It was always my dream so when I received the message I was very very happy,” Joseph said.

“When I was in Trinidad (for the Super50), Mr. Desmond Haynes (chief selector) he talked to me and he said, ‘All you have to do is just do well.’”

“So that definitely encouraged me that I had to go and do what I had to do, picking up 12 wickets in two matches (for West Indies A in South Africa).”

“Consistency was something I worked on over there so it didn’t come to me as a surprise, but at the same time I was extremely happy knowing I had started my career earlier this year with first class cricket for Guyana, then into the CPL, into Super50, into West Indies-A team and now into the senior team.”

“So after putting in all this work, it came out good for me,” said Joseph.

Joseph, along with off-spinner Kevin Sinclair, topped the West Indies bowling charts on the South Africa A tour, averaging 21 runs apiece, especially in the second four-day “Test” at Bloemfontein where he finished with an eight wicket haul, including taking all five wickets to fall in the hosts’ second innings.

“It all depends on discipline. I want to maintain discipline which is important,” Joseph explained.

“The basics in cricket is just to stick to the areas and things will happen. I’m not saying that all the balls will hit one spot but the more consistent you are, the more things will happen for you.”

He added: “I am excited. It’s really exciting. Not only that but af ter putting in a lot of work, I have been looking forward to oppor tunities like these and I’m really excited. I’m really happy. I’ll be going to Australia where you know fast bowling is very important so I’m very excited.”

West Indies will play two Tests from Jan. 17-29.

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