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From being a security guard to West Indies' Gabba hero: All you need to know about Shamar Joseph

Published at :January 28, 2024 at 4:58 PM
Modified at :January 28, 2024 at 4:58 PM
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Shamar Joseph was awarded with both player of the match and player of the series awards in the two-match test series against Australia.

Shamar Joseph, who had to be helped off the pitch on Saturday after Mitchell Starc’s toe-crushing yorker, returned on Sunday to rip through the Australian batting line-up, taking seven wickets as West Indies won the second test by eight runs.

Last week, his opening burst in Adelaide, which saw him mislead Steve Smith with his first delivery, placed him among the sport’s best debutants. His exploits in the Brisbane test, in which he took eight wickets with a now career-best figures of 7/68, won Shamar Joseph both the Player of the Match and Player of the Series awards after the two-match test series.

Joseph was not a first-class cricketer less than a year ago. In 2021, he was working as a security officer in Berbice. Cut to January 2024 and he is a strong contender for becoming the ICC test cricketer of the month award.

Who is Shamar Joseph?

Shamar Joseph, a Guyanese cricket player, was born on August 31, 1999, in Baracara, a small village in East Berbice-Corentyne. Joseph was reared in a family of five brothers and three sisters. Standing by the Canje Creek in the Caribbean country’s northeast corner, only accessible by water and a two-hour boat ride from the nearest major city, New Amsterdam, the settlement is home to little more than 400 people.

As a child, Joseph studied footage of West Indies cricket team opening bowlers Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh and attempted to replicate them in his tape ball games around his small village. Shamar Joseph was hired as a labourer in the construction industry in New Amsterdam before moving on to become a security guard.

Shamar Joseph’s first break in cricket came from fellow Guyanese Romario Shepherd. Following Shepherd’s introduction to the Guyana cricket squad, Joseph built ties with important Guyanese players and head coach Esuan Crandon. He also went to Curtly Ambrose’s fast bowling clinic in Berbice.

He then joined the Guyana Amazon Warriors as an injury substitute for Keemo Paul in CPL 2023. He was scouted by Prasanna Agoram, a Warriors talent scout, whom he met during his first CPL tenure. He made his T20 debut against the Barbados Royals and was part of the Warriors who won the CPL 2023.

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