His career began under the most controversial of circumstances. Kemar Roach made his Test debut against Bangladesh after the first choice West Indies players went on strike over a contract dispute in 2009, and shot to the headlines with some fiery spells that rocked the Asian batsmen on some slow Caribbean pitches.
Now, in his eighth year in regional first-class cricket, the Barbadian is seeking to bowl his way back into the West Indies with his renowned pace and aggression.
The right-arm seamer of late has unfortunately succumbed to a series of injuries, which meant he has only played one Test match for 2016 and more so, had a considerable drop in pace and confidence.
However, the 28-year-old, who had brought Goosebumps to cricket lovers on his 2009 tour to Australia where he had captain Ricky Pointing on knife’s edge throughout series with his aggressive bowling, says that he is using the ongoing Digicel Regional Four-day competition as a way of not only regaining his place in the International team but also his lightening pace.
Speaking to Guyana Times Sport while in Georgetown for the Barbados Pride’s round four clash against the home team, Roach said “I’m back to the 90 mark and I’m feeling really good about it.”
Commenting on the constant niggles and drop in intensity, he explained, “I could not push myself, the more injuries you get, the more the body wears out so I had to bowl within myself and try to get wickets but it didn’t work out.”
The bowler, who has played 37 Tests for the men in maroon, has picked up 12 wickets in four matches to date in the four-day competition just after he returned from West Indies A team duties in Sri Lanka, where he had seven scalps in three matches.
Thus far, he has shown good signs and even had some of the Jaguars batsmen on their heels with the pink-ball on a slow Providence pitch, where he hit Shimron Hetmyer on the helmet twice.
“I’m feeling good, been working hard in the nets, doing everything I’m supposed to do to play for West Indies again; my confidence is up and hopefully it continues,” he revealed.
Roach, who has 122 Test wickets and needs one more to reach triple figures in One Day Internationals (ODI), is also known for his defiant knocks in the middle when the regional side is in crisis, revealed that he missed the International game and was longing to be back playing for West Indies.
“I have missed the game a lot, having to monitor injuries but I have been trying to keep myself fit and do everything possible to stay on the park; I have been taking the necessary precautions to avoid injuries and playing for West Indies is obviously a honour and privilege and I want to get back there since I really miss it,” Roach said in his deep Barbadian accent.
With the Test team hosting Pakistan in March next year then travelling to England in May, Roach will have another chance to impress selectors when Barbados Pride take on the Windward Islands Volcanoes in Dominica, beginning today.