Mon | Mar 4, 2024

Joseph relishes new vice-captain role

Published:Sunday | December 3, 2023 | 12:13 AM
CWI Photo 
West Indies coach Daren Sammy (left) and his vice-captain, Alzarri Joseph, during a training session in Antigua recently.
CWI Photo West Indies coach Daren Sammy (left) and his vice-captain, Alzarri Joseph, during a training session in Antigua recently.

NORTH SOUND (CMC):

STRIKE BOWLER Alzarri Joseph said it will be “business as usual” when he takes up the new role of West Indies vice-captain for the three One-Day Internationals against England, starting today in his homeland of Antigua.

The 27-year-old Antiguan fast bowler was elevated to the position after leading the Leeward Islands Hurricanes to the final of the West Indies Super50 Cup last month, which was won by hosts Trinidad and Tobago Red Force.

“My role on the field does not necessarily change but, in terms of the vice-captaincy, I think it’s something that I’ll cherish for a little,” Joseph told CWI Media.

“For me, it will be about facilitating the captain as much as I can and sharing my advice and seeing how well I can work with him to make the team a lot more successful.”

Joseph said leading the Hurricanes was an eye-opening experience, but he had plenty of help from the senior players, which also made his job as the lead fast bowler much easier.

“It was good,” he said. “I had a lot of guys around me that had captained before, so they helped me to play that role as efficiently as I can, but I also had my own philosophy that I wanted to bring to the team, and the guys really bought in to it.

“Once you are a bowler, you are your own captain when you have the ball. So, for me, it was just about doing my job and asking the rest of the guys to back me up. When I was not bowling, I had to make sure that everyone else was on the right path and executing our plans.”

West Indies failed to qualify for the ICC Men’s ODI World Cup that Australia won last month in India, and England, the previous champions, performed dismally, winning only two of their nine matches, and exited the tournament after the preliminary stage.

It is against this backdrop that the two sides will face each other, looking for redemption and charting a new course in this format of the sport.

“I think it’s going to be a really good series,” Joseph said.

“We have been preparing very well. We are ready, and I think it will be quite entertaining.

“It’s always special playing on home soil, so I am looking forward to the matches in Antigua, but nothing changes, it’s business as usual. For me, it’s about going out onto the field and performing my role as efficiently as possible.”

Joseph, a member of the West Indies Under-19 side that won the ICC Youth World Cup under the leadership of Shimron Hetmyer and mentorship of English coach Graeme West, now has 104 wickets at 27.69 apiece from 63 ODIs since making his debut against Pakistan seven years ago in Sharjah.

The soft-spoken Joseph was philosophical about reaching the milestone and becoming the enforcer in the attack.

“It’s always good to get to those milestones, but the job is not done yet, and there is still a long way to go. So, for me, it’s just about getting one per cent better every day,” he said.

The first two ODIs on Sunday and this coming Wednesday will be played at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in Antigua, and the final match of the series takes place the following Saturday at Kensington Oval in Barbados.