Having traced the short career of 26-year-old Alzarri Joseph, the talented pacesetter who opened the attack against India, one can understand the enigma that is West Indies cricket.
A good starting point might be 2016, when he was 19 years old and back home, where he was greeted at the airport by family and friends. West Indies won the Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh, where young Alzarri was the best player and made a reputation after making a zinger at 147 kmph. His pace and run-up would make old-timers nostalgic. After smashing the off stump with a scorching knock, Ian Bishop said the youngster was ready to play international cricket.
Such an uproar went up that His Highness Courtley Ambrose came in his car to receive him. It’s a great honor, an enigma not many, perhaps none, have received. The King received his heir, and the West Indies thought they had seen the dawn.
That same year, he got a call-up to the West Indies senior team for Tests and ODIs. He looked fit and lived up to the expectations placed on him. But in 2019, the IPL happened unexpectedly. The Mumbai Indians team was looking for a replacement for Adam Milne and opted for the tall Antiguan. He made 6/12 in his first game against Sunrisers Hyderabad and till date, no one can match those dream fingers.
Alzarri was immediately on the shopping list of most franchise teams. He could have been a biee. That’s why he’s a nI’ve taken over 50 tests and made 200 pucks.
There is another statistic that explains why Alzarri can be forgiven for a bad red ball game day. The Pacer has now completed 9,857 red ball pitches and over 10,000 white ball pitches. His muscle memory is not relinquishing the line and length of balls in Test matches. When he plays with franchise teams, which is most of the year, he always tries variations. There are more and more West Indies players like Alzarri who want to play Tests, but schedules don’t allow.in the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia. The committee, which included batting great Brian Lara, South Africa coach Mickey Arthur and a senior umpire, said it was not in the interest of West Indies cricket to have our best players playing in every world league and playing for the WI team on an optional basis. They also issued a stern warning that if action is not taken in time, the West Indies team may cease to exist.
However, just a few months later, the West Indies were struck by lightning – they failed to qualify for the 50-over World Cup for the first time. They are also on the brink in Tests. It is painful to watch the West Indies slump, painful to see the club quality of cricket in Tests. For fans of Indian cricket, this delightful graveyard shift seems to be finally over. Thanks for the memories.
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