By Neto Baptiste
Former national and West Indies fast bowler Winston Benjamin, believes that young fast bowler Alzarri Joseph, has been placed at a disadvantage because of an unsupportive system.
Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, Benjamin compared the 22-year-old Antiguan cricketer to South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada, and said that Joseph came into the senior regional team out of need rather than readiness.
“Let us face facts; when Alzarri got into the West Indies team we were in dire need of fast bowlers and he basically got in on his potential. I worked with him from since he was 15 years old and I said I would like to have another two years with him and then by that time, you would have seen the difference,” he said.
“He’s here and he’s there, [and] our work was not completed, so he learns from the top [when] everybody else learns from the bottom up. Rabada and all those guys, their thing is structured where you have coaches for every meal of the day and every direction you turn,” he added.
To date, Joseph has claimed 25 wickets in nine Tests and 24 scalps in 16 One Day Internationals.
Benjamin said the Antiguan has shown great improvement over the past six months.
“In recent months, being with him in the Leeward Islands set-up, he has come a long way over that short period of time; he has improved tremendously. He is now doing things that before he was a little bit reluctant and not getting it correct. My thing is that I want him to be a little bit more relaxed, because he thinks he has to get a wicket every ball, so I am trying to get him to understand to just relax,” the coach said.
Benjamin, who racked up 100 ODI wickets and bagged 61 Test victims, believes that Joseph will soon reach his full potential.
“It comes with age, patience, experience and remember, I played a lot of cricket in England and Alzarri has not really played a lot of cricket other than playing for West Indies, so his development is going to be a little bit slower. If you look at Rabada’s stats, he triple times the amount of cricket Alzarri has played, so he will learn quicker, faster because of repetition,” he said. Joseph is currently playing for the St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).