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West Indies Legend Gayle Backs Joseph for T20 World Cup

West Indies Legend Gayle Backs Joseph for T20 World Cup

West Indies Legend Gayle Backs Young Gun Joseph for T20 World Cup Spot

West Indies cricket icon Chris Gayle has thrown his weight behind fast bowler Shamar Joseph, urging selectors to fast-track the youngster into the squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup on home soil.

Joseph, 24, made a sensational Test debut in Australia earlier this year, grabbing a five-wicket haul in Adelaide. He followed it up with a heroic performance in Brisbane, taking a stunning 7-68 while battling a broken toe – a feat that propelled the Windies to their first Test series win in Australia in 27 years.

Despite Joseph’s limited experience in T20 cricket (only two domestic matches), Gayle believes his raw pace and firepower are exactly what the Windies need for the World Cup.

“He’s a strong player, and he deserves to be in the squad,” Gayle, who was in New York for the T20 World Cup trophy tour, told Reuters in a phone interview.

The former skipper also highlighted the potential of having two players named Joseph in the squad, referring to the established Alzarri Joseph. “Even if they don’t both play at the same time, his presence would be invaluable for cover in case of injuries. It’s a great problem for the selectors to have,” Gayle added.

West Indies couldn’t qualify for T20 World Cup 2022

West Indies, who missed out on the Super 12 stage in the 2022 World Cup, have shown promising signs with series wins against South Africa, India, and England recently.

With Daren Sammy, a two-time T20 World Cup-winning captain, at the helm, and the return of experienced players like Andre Russell, Jason Holder, and Nicholas Pooran, the Windies appear to be building a well-rounded squad under captain Rovman Powell.

Gayle, a pioneer of T20 cricket with his explosive batting, also acknowledged the format’s impact on the overall cricketing landscape.

“Test matches are faster these days. Teams are scoring 300 runs in a day quite easily, and that’s because of the influence of T20,” he said. “The same goes for ODIs, where teams can chase down targets of 400. T20 cricket has truly changed the game.”

The batting legend, who famously smashed the first-ever century in a T20 International at the 2007 World Cup, expressed his pride in contributing to the format’s growth.

“Scoring that first hundred was a special moment,” said Gayle, who boasts an impressive career spanning 103 Tests and 301 ODIs. “I believe it opened the doors for other players to realize the possibility of scoring big runs in T20s.”

The T20 World Cup will be co-hosted by the West Indies and the United States, running from June 1st to 29th.

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