Gayle wants pace sensation Joseph in Windies squad for home World Cup

Chris Gayle
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Fast bowling sensation Shamar Joseph should be fast-tracked into the West Indies squad for the home T20 World Cup in June, said former captain Chris Gayle.

Joseph burst onto the scene in his debut series in Australia earlier this year, grabbing a five-wicket haul in his maiden test in Adelaide.

He followed that up with a magical display in Brisbane where, bowling with a broken toe, the pacer claimed 7-68 to help West Indies record their first test win in Australia in 27 years.

The 24-year-old has played only two domestic T20 matches but Gayle says West Indies need Joseph’s firepower at the World Cup.

“He’s strong, he should be in the squad,” Gayle, who launched the T20 World Cup trophy tour in New York on Tuesday, told Reuters in a telephone interview.

“We already have Alzarri Joseph, so to have the two Josephs there (will be great).

“Both might not play at the same time, but we would need him in this squad just in case anybody picks up an injury.

“It’s a good headache to have for the selectors.”

West Indies failed to make the Super 12 stage of the 2022 World Cup in Australia but have registered series victories against South Africa, India and England over the past year.

In Daren Sammy, they have a coach who knows what it takes to win a global trophy having captained West Indies to T20 World Cup titles in 2012 and 2016.

Gayle was happy with the “all-round” look of the group under captain Rovman Powell.

“Andre Russell back in the squad, there’s some more experience in the squad in Jason Holder and Nicholas Pooran,” Gayle said.

“Those guys will have a big part to play for West Indies to lift the trophy.”

A T20 pioneer whose entertaining batting made him a sought-after name in franchise leagues, Gayle said 20-overs cricket had made other formats a lot more result-oriented.

“You watch test cricket these days, it’s played a bit faster than a couple of years back. Teams scoring 300 within a day with ease, that’s because of T20 cricket,” he said.

“It’s the same in 50-overs cricket. Teams can score and chase down 400 as well. Everything has changed in the game, thanks to T20 cricket.”

Gayle, who smashed the first hundred in T20 Internationals at the 2007 World Cup, was pleased to have played his role in the growth of the format.

“Being the first person to score the first T20 century, that was fantastic. I think from there, the game actually blossomed,” Gayle, who played 103 tests and 301 one-day internationals, said.

“When that happened, it just opened the door for other players to realise that there’s an opportunity to get centuries there.”

The World Cup will be played in West Indies and the United States between June 1-29.