‘He’s created a good headache’ – Sammy puts Joseph in T20 World Cup frame

West Indies
West Indies Test hero Shamar Joseph could force his way into the T20 World Cup calculations this year despite not playing in the two limited-overs series against Australia with coach Daren Sammy admitting he has created a selection headache.
Joseph created shockwaves around the cricket world last Sunday when he took 7 for 68 to inspire West Indies to a historic Test victory over Australia at the Gabba. His performance came on the back of taking a maiden five-wicket haul in his debut Test in Adelaide, which included dismissing Steven Smith with his first ball in Test cricket.

Joseph has only played two T20 matches in his short career and is yet to take a wicket in the format, having played for Guyana Amazon Warriors in last year’s CPL. He has also played just two List A games for Guyana in the Super50 Cup.

But Sammy, West Indies’ white-ball coach, was adamant Joseph would be an all-format star for his country and could well be vaulted into T20 World Cup calculations.

“He will definitely be an all-format player,” Sammy said. “I can’t wait to get my hands on him in this squad. But look, everything has a process to it. That’s the way myself and the chairman of selectors operate. What he’s done, he’s created a really good headache for me with the World Cup coming up, building forward in the ODI team.

“We got other guys like Jayden Seales, who’s injured at the moment. So we’re developing a core in all formats that enables us to pick from good positions, guys that are performing and that’s what you want as a cricketing nation.”

Joseph was not initially selected in the white-ball squads for the three-match ODI series that starts at the MCG on Friday and the three-match T20I series that starts next Friday in Hobart.

He was instead set to play in the ILT20 before having to withdraw due to the toe injury he suffered during the Gabba Test. Sammy revealed that there had been conversations about keeping him in Australia and adding him to the limited-overs squads but he was keen to allow him to go home to recover and celebrate with his family.

“We ride the wave that’s happening there, but we won’t go crazy,” Sammy said. “If the guy’s injured, let him go home and rest.

“That’s probably the first time he’s been away from home for so long. He’s got a young family. So we understand. Whatever we do is well-planned and well thought out.

“I think going home to his family, enjoying this moment is important. Because victories like that don’t come around all the time. It’s important that you enjoy these moments. Savour it so that it keeps you motivated to have more moments like that.”

Sammy was hopeful that Joseph’s performance would inspire his inexperienced ODI squad in the three-match series against Australia.

“When somebody performs like that the team rises, and it was so good to watch,” Sammy said. “You see the smile on my face every time you go back to that and I just hope my men – whenever challenges come you can just remember that if you push through, there’s always gold at the end of the rainbow.”

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