If ever there was doubt that Damion Jacobs is not good enough to be in Jamaica’s Franchise team, all that would now be out the window.
Jacobs made a fairy-tale entry to first-class cricket in April, when his eight-wicket haul inspired Jamaica to lift the Headley/Weekes Trophy against Windward Islands. The 29-year-old, who was a replacement for the injured Odean Brown at the time, grabbed eight for 47 in the first innings to finish with 10 wickets in the final match.
The leg-break bowler once again silenced his doubters when he chalked up another dazzling performance to rescue Jamaica from the depths of defeat against the same opponents in their opening Professional Cricket League Four-Day Tournament game at Sabina Park on Sunday.
Jacobs, who felt he was under scrutiny, proved that he is no fluke when he picked up his second-best career figures of seven wickets for 72 runs to pilot Jamaica to victory.
“I am very pleased because I came in the game under some pressure, so I was determined to do well this game… to prove a point to all of my doubters out there that I am here.
“The skipper spoke to me and he believed in me. And when the skipper believes in you there is nothing that you can do wrong, and I come up and just do the job for him,” he said.
Jacobs now has a total of 25 wickets from 10 innings in five matches, while racking up 144 runs with the bat. His two best figures in his short career have so far ranked him among the best bowling performances in an innings by a Jamaican in the format.
“It’s a very good feeling being in the wings for so long and finally getting a chance to show my worth. All I ever wanted was to represent my country and now I have the opportunity and I am going to grasp it with both hands by putting in the work and perform to the best of my ability,” he told the Jamaica Observer.
“I am in a positive frame of mind now, so I just want to be consistent and help Jamaica win games. I know that if I remain positive, then trophy performances will follow my work ethic and love for the sport,” he added.
The outspoken player, who also represents Melbourne Cricket Club, says his confidence has soared as a result of his successful entry to first-class cricket and he plans to improve his game for the remainder of the 10-round-long tournament.
“Every game I play is a stepping block for me to improve. I have aspired to play for the West Indies one day and I know in order for me to get there, I have to put in the work. So that is the aim this season, to remain consistent and improve my performance game by game,” said the instrumental player.
With the Jamaicans losing out on the overall title last season, Jacobs is confident that they can retain regional supremacy with good performances in the batting department.
“Batting has always been an issue,” he said, “So once we step up our game in the batting department, then I see us winning the tournament,” he concluded.