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AUS vs WI: Former Security Guard Shamar Joseph helps WI get first Test win in 27 years in Australia

Australia vs West Indies: Former Security Guard Shamar Joseph helps West-Indies get first Test win in 27 years in Australia. The story of Shamar Joseph.


Australia vs West Indies: Shamar Joseph helps West-Indies get first Test win in 27 years in Australia. Walking Wicket (Images_ ©X_Twitter)
Shamar Joseph's 7-68 helped WI beat Australia at Gabba (Images: ©X/Twitter)

It was around 2:30 midnight in the Caribbean, or especially in Guyana, when Shamar Joseph, with an absolute jaffa, got the no. 11, Josh Hazlewood, to end the long wait for a West Indies Test victory in Australia since 1997 at the WACA. 


Joseph was a security guard before taking this game for bread and butter and now has kept Test cricket woken up around the globe. 


A special Test victory for West Indies against a spirited Australia

It was quite a remarkable sight to watch at the end of the game, when Joseph, who injured his toe just 20 hours ago from Mitchell Starc’s firing yorker, sprinted towards the boundary rope, and couldn’t be caught by his team-mates. 


When skipper Kraigg Braithwaite was asked about the inspiration behind the victory, especially after they struggled with the bat in Adelaide, he showed his biceps and put these words- “I must say we had two words that inspired us in this Test match, Mr Rodney Hogg said that we were pathetic and hopeless, and I must ask him, are these muscles big enough for him?”


Brian Lara, who scored a brilliant 132 in Perth when West Indies beat Australia last time in Australia, was in his tears at the end of the game, as was Carl Hopper in the commentary box. 


This was a special win, after all this was their first Test win at the Gabba since 1989 when they had four batters with 100+ Tests, their top three wicket-takers and their best-ever wicket-keeper, Jeff Dujon in the side. On the flip of the coin, Australia have now lost their first-ever day-night Test.


 

A security guard playing cricket with wood and fruits: The inspirational Shamar Joseph story

Baracara, a place that got internet and mobile coverage in 2018, is the place where the new quick of West Indies, Shamar Joseph hails. It’s a tiny village with 350 people with a small health centre and a primary school, without any higher education. It’s a place that one could reach with a two-day boat trip from Guyana’s port town of New Amsterdam, crossing 225 km of distance over the Canje River.


For a young man from a tiny community, Joseph to make his international Test debut in Adelaide, and then dismiss Steve Smith off the first ball of his career adds another layer of sheer speciality. He used to carry his piece of wood as the ‘bat’, and bowled with fruits such as lemons, limes, and guavas.  


“I started off in a construction company,” Joseph said to Cricbuzz in an interview. “But I wasn’t very good at my job, I am scared of heights, so I just ended up being a labourer there.” Later, he took a job as a security guard, working 12-hour shifts. There was a time when he became anxious to make money to buy touch screen mobiles and understand what the internet is. This is where he met Romario Shepherd, who introduced him to Guyana national head coach Esuan Crandon. He trained in the Ambrose fast-bowling clinic and took 6/13 on his Division-1 debut. 


After his regional four-day competition and a contract in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), he played for the WIA squad in South Africa where he picked 12 wickets in two games. 



Australia vs West Indies_ Shamar Joseph helps West-Indies get first Test win in 27 years in Australia. Walking Wicket (Images_ ©X_Twitter)
Shamar Joseph gets player of the series on his first tour (Images: ©X/Twitter)

From Adelaide to Brisbane: Joseph writes his own script

It was towards the end of 2023 when Joseph got a maiden call up in the Test side for the Australia tour. 


After getting his cap, he didn’t take long before taking the outside edge of Smith. He bowled with a 130-135+ kmph pace and showed real aggression in his bowling to return with 5/94 in the first innings. “Getting Steve Smith, I’ll remember this for the rest of my life.” A thrilled Joseph spoke in the press conference. “I’ll take a picture with him and post it in my house.”

In Brisbane during the second Test, that was the first time he bowled with the pink ball. He didn’t have a great outing with 1/56 in the first innings, then things went from bad to worse when Starc’s firing yorker injured his toe. 


“I wasn’t even coming out to the ground this morning to be fair. I must give a shout-out to the doctor.” Joseph said in the post-match presentation. He bowled a 10-over spell with that injured toe before the break and made Australia struggle with the wickets of Cameron Green, Travis Head, and Alex Carey. The ball he bowled to Pat Cummins, which flew from the middle of the track to get the edge of the opponent captain reminds one of the golden era of their cricket. He ended with 7/68 in 11.5 overs to end the series with 13 wickets at an average of 17.31.


Three days, before the first Test of the series in Adelaide, he strolled around the city to buy an arm guard and went unnoticed. And two weeks later, everyone around the globe wants to have a moment with him. 



Financially struggling West Indies need to preserve Joseph

The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) have been struggling financially for a long time, like other small nations, and can’t afford to retain many of their star players. Many of their top players in the past and recent times have opted for better pay in the T20 leagues. 


But it’s high time, they preserve this new sensational talent and manage his workload. They also need to take care of his fitness and keep him away from the multi-dollar T20 leagues. There will be plenty of those, but Joseph too needs to decide his future. 


The more he plays, the more experience he will gain, and will be in better shape to bowl long spells in the upcoming future. This win in Australia for the West Indies has been refreshing, encouraging more talent from the small villages to play Test cricket. 


For Joseph, the first step towards greatness has been excellent, but the road to being the greatest is long and full of obstacles. 


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