Promote Joseph on ability - Ambrose
ST JOHN'S, Antigua (CMC):
Former West Indies fast bowler, Sir Curtly Ambrose, said Antiguan pacer Alzarri Joseph should be promoted to the senior set-up on the basis of his ability and not his age.
Joseph picked up 13 wickets to help West Indies win the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup in Bangladesh earlier this month.
The 19-year-old pacer grabbed three for 39 off 10 overs to inspire West Indies to a five-wicket win over India in the final.
"I believe that age has nothing to do with if you are ready or not," declared Ambrose.
"Sachin Tendulkar, one of the greatest players ever, made his Test debut when he was 15 or 16-years-old, when I figured he should have been in school and look how turned out."
During the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup, Joseph delivered the fastest ball in the tournament at 91.5 mph and bowled consistently around the high 80s-90 mph.
He removed the stumps in four of his 13 wickets, had three lbw decisions, while three of his victims were caught by wicketkeeper Tevin Imlach off tentative edges.
"So what you are telling me is that if Alzarri is doing well at age 19, and we think he can get the job done, why wait until he is 22?," asked Ambrose, who claimed 405 Test scalps in 98 matches and 205 wickets in 172 one-day internationals.
"By then he may just lose focus or say, 'I am fed up'."
The powerfully built, 6 ft 4in Joseph hit helmet and gloves with his pace and bounce in Bangladesh to unsettle batsmen and trigger prospects of a revival in West Indies fast bowling.
He bowled with similar intensity to claim seven for 46 against Windward Islands last November.
"Alzarri still has a lot to learn, he has pace, which is good, but I figure that whenever I go close enough to him to sit and talk about cricket I would let him know that pace is good because you can intimidate people," said Ambrose.
"But to be able to consistently put the ball in the right area is the key and the foundation to being a great fast bowler."
Joseph returns to regional action for the Leeward Islands Hurricanes when they take on Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in Trinidad on Friday.