Emotional Walsh Credits Late Father For Inspiration

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By Neto Baptiste

National cricketer and newly named West Indies leg-spinner, Hayden Walsh Jr, said he was inspired by his father’s sudden passing in 2010, to do whatever it took to represent the senior men’s team at the highest level.

In an emotional interview, Walsh Jr who ended the recent Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) as the top bowler with 22 wickets, said his father was his biggest fan and mentor.

“Ever since he passed, I was on a mission to make sure I am on the West Indies team and I am one of the best world cricketers there is. I can remember that he died on a Saturday and I can remember that on the Monday I walked to cricket — we were living in Liberta and we were practicing in Falmouth — and I remember going to cricket and people were like, ‘what are you doing here?’ So [his death] really motivated me to get up and get the ball rolling with this cricket thing,” he said. 

Walsh Sr, a former national and Leeward Islands player died suddenly on January 9th 2010 of a heart attack. He was swimming in the pool at Dove Cove Hotel, where he was spending the day with his family, when the sad event occurred.

Walsh Jr remembered how his father would work with him on his game and bowling action.

“My dad was telling me he was teaching me how to bowl with the ball seam up, and then while he was teaching me how to do that, I kept doing that [spinning from the back of his hand]. So I kept breaking

[figuratively speaking]

my wrist and I think it was because Shane Warne was on the scene at the time and I really admired him, so he was like, from then on, just do what you want to do,” he said.

As for his newfound status as a West Indies ODI and T20 player, Walsh said he has been taking it in strides.

“I’ve just been trying to get some rest because I am coming off a long stretch of cricket,” the player said. “I’ve been to the GT20, then went home for a day, then I went to Bermuda for the T20 qualifiers, came back for a day and then went to the CPL … so I’ve just been trying to get some rest.”

Walsh Jr is a member of the Antigua and Barbuda team that will contest the Leeward Islands 50 Overs tournament starting here on Friday.

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