Former West Indies fast bowler and current bowling consultant for the regional team Sir Curtly Ambrose believes that young Antiguan pacer Alzarri Joseph should be included in the senior squad based on his ability and not his age.
Antigua & Barbuda’s Sir Curtly, who claimed 405 Test scalps in 98 matches and 205 wickets in 172 One Day Internationals, said once Joseph has proven he has the ability to compete at the highest level then he should be given an opportunity to earn his keep.
“I believe that age has nothing to do with if you are ready or not. Sachin Tendulkar, one of the greatest players ever, made his Test debut when he was 15 or 16-years-old when I figured he should have been in school and look how he turned out,” he said. “So what you are telling me is that if Alzarri is doing well at age 19 and we think he can get the job done, why wait until he is 22? By then he may just lose focus or say, ‘I am fed up’,” he said.
Joseph claimed a total of 13 wickets in the Under-19s’ successful showing in the ICC World Cup in Bangladesh, grabbing three for 39 off 10 overs in the final against India.
The young cricketer returned home to a hero’s welcome last Wednesday.
Sir Curtly, admitting Joseph is still “learning the art of fast bowling,” said with continued good guidance, he will rule the game in short order.
“Alzarri still has a lot to learn, he has pace which is good, but I figure that whenever I go close enough to him to sit and talk about cricket I would let him know that pace is good because you can intimidate people, but to be able to consistently put the ball in the right area is the key and the foundation to being a great fast bowler,” he said.
Joseph is set to return to regional action for the Leeward Islands Hurricanes when they take on T&T Red Force in Trinidad starting Friday.