Alzarri Joseph, the West Indies fast bowler, has joined Worcestershire as their overseas player for the opening weeks of the 2021 season.
Joseph, who is currently playing against Sri Lanka in the first Test in Antigua, will fly into the UK from the island on April 4, and will be available to Worcestershire for their first seven County Championship fixtures.
The ongoing Test is Joseph’s 15th, in which he has claimed 34 wickets, in addition to a further 54 in 34 ODIs. He was part of the West Indies’ squad that toured England during last summer’s bio-secure Test series, claiming three wickets in his two Test appearances at Southampton and Manchester.
“I am thrilled to be joining Worcestershire for the early part of the summer,” Joseph said.
“When I heard the club was interested in me, I had no hesitation in saying yes. The club has a strong squad with a nice balance of youth and experience, and I’m really looking forward to working with bowling coach Alan Richardson.
“I would also like to thank Cricket West Indies for allowing me the opportunity to go and experience county cricket,” he said.
Joseph, 24, first played for West Indies as a 19-year-old in 2016, having starred at that year’s Under-19 World Cup with 13 wickets in six games.
His batting has become an increasingly valuable part of his game, with scores of 86 against New Zealand in Hamilton in December, and 82 versus Bangladesh in Dhaka in February, having been dismissed in single figures in his first 14 Test innings.
His most spectacular moment to date, however, came at the IPL in 2019, when he claimed figures of 6 for 12 on debut for Mumbai Indians against Sunrisers Hyderabad – the best performance by a bowler in the competition’s history.
“He is a quality performer, and we are delighted to have signed him for the best part of two months,” said Paul Pridgeon, Worcestershire Cricket Steering Group Chairman.
“With it looking like Josh Tonge and Pat Brown may not be match fit for the start of the season, Alex Gidman [Head Coach] and Joe Leach [Club Captain] both felt they needed another seamer.
“Alzarri is going to be available for seven matches and is an exciting prospect.” (www.espncricinfo.com)