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Being a superstar doesn't change anything for me: Shamar

Source: PTI
March 27, 2024 17:54 IST
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'I still remain a country boy and nothing changes for me.'

IMAGE: West Indies pace sensation Shamar Joseph was roped in by Lucknow Super Giants for IPL 2024 as replacement for England's Mark Wood. Photograph: Shamar Joseph/Instagram

He is only 24 but has endured a tough life growing up and is currently raising two toddlers with a young partner.

One can't possibly blame Shamar Joseph for wanting the best of both worlds -- 'play all three formats for the West Indies' and also remain fit enough to ply his trade across the globe in franchise cricket.


Joseph has logged woods in the nondescript Guyanese village of Baracara, worked as a construction labourer at building sites before spending half a day as a security guard, a secure future for his family is all that he desires.

So, like a lot of West Indies players, who crisscross the globe playing IPL one day and Big Bash the next, Joseph too wants the best of both worlds.

"Look I haven't made up my mind (if preference given)," the pace sensation, who has come in as a replacement for England pacer Mark Wood in Lucknow Super Giants team, told PTI.

IMAGE: West Indies pace sensation Shamar Joseph wants to play in all three formats for the West Indies and also participate in the various T20 leagues like IPL. Photograph: Lucknow Super Giants/Instagram

The hero of West Indies' recent Test win in Australia, who played through pain with a broken toe, feels that in the next few years, it his fitness will determine the workload he can take.

"I will like to play around the world to enhance my skills but if there are other opportunities (T20 Leagues), I will make myself available," Joseph said, adding, "I have confidence in my fitness and that won't be a problem for me."

"Definitely my fitness will be important since I have a long career ahead of mine, I would definitely like to play all three formats for the West Indies whenever I am available. I will definitely make that time for them," said the youngster.

He has played only two T20 matches for Guyana Amazon Warriors in his short and eventful career so far but IPL will give him an opportunity to learn the tricks of the trade.

"It is a transformation from red ball to white ball cricket. There will be other (technical) changes and I get to learn from every opportunity that I get. I enjoyed playing Tests and now I will look to improve my white ball game.

"I am talking to all the experienced players, who are seniors and have played a certain amount of IPL, learning from them and enjoying being in the moment," said the soft-spoken fast bowler.

His senior Kemar Roach, who has played a few seasons of IPL previously, did give him an idea of what to expect in January but back then he had gone unsold.

But after the Australia series, even legends like Courtney Walsh and Curtly Ambrose have said good things about him.

"Definitely, Kemar and I had a lot of conversations about IPL when we were in Australia. Ambrose, after the (Australia) Tests, also gave me some good advice.

"Courtney Walsh, there have been words of encouragement from all these greats which will help me going forward," he added.

Having seen extreme poverty in Baracara to enjoying the financial windfall that comes with the IPL, Joseph has indeed come a long way.

"Life has been great so far. There has been all sorts of kind comments. It is my performance that brought me here. Happy to be here."

IMAGE: Shamar Joseph celebrates taking seven wickets to power West Indies to victory against Australia in the second Test in Brisbane in January. Photograph:

However, he remains a country boy at heart.

"I am always aware where I came from. I still remain a country boy and nothing changes for me. Yes, I will go with the flow but being a superstar doesn't change anything for me and it has been the same life," Joseph said.

Joseph is happy to have Justin Langer around, someone who has taken keen interest in his exploits since the tour of Australia.

"It is always great to be among legends and players who inspire you like K L (Rahul), our skipper and Justin Langer our head coach, he is an amazing person. He has talked to me and advised me from the Australian series.

"He would encourage me to keep doing better, talking to him is an amazing experience and he is so humble and cool person," he was all praise for Langer's communication skills.

His first Test wicket came off the very first delivery of his international career and it was none other than Steve Smith. So is he looking forward to snaring Virat Kohli with his first IPL delivery?

"Definitely, I would want that opportunity to come, getting a wicket with my first ball in IPL would be a dream. It doesn't matter who I bowl to, as long as I get an opportunity to make an appearance.

"Whether it's Virat, Rohit (Sharma) or MSD (Mahendra Singh Dhoni) doesn't matter whom I bowl first to, but I want to come good in this IPL," he said.

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