By Neto Baptiste
Former national and Leeward Islands batsman, Sylvester Joseph, believes he was short-changed during his short stint with the West Indies senior men’s team and was not allowed the playing time required to solidify his place in the team.
Joseph, who made his Test debut against England in 2004, said that although he earned his selection to the squad after a good year with the bat for the Leeward Islands, he was often overlooked by then head coach, Gus Logie.
“I only played because someone was sick, so it’s not like you getting selected because you performed well and got most runs or a good total in the regional competition, and then you go up and you get a free chance and so I realised back then that it was very difficult, and you could get selected in the team or the squad and you travel a few times and so forth, but my thing was that I needed a fair chance and I think it played a bit on my confidence and I didn’t really get a good run at the top end,” he said.
England won the Test series by 4-0, marking the first time England had ever won all the Tests in one series against West Indies.
Joseph made his debut in the third Test hitting 45 off 86 deliveries in the first innings and 15 off 41 balls in the second innings.
Joseph argued that in in his four years as a Test player, opportunities did not come his way as often as it did for many other players.
“I played five Test matches and played my first Test in 2004 [in England] and I played two games in that series before I stopped playing in 2008 and when you start playing in 2004 and then five years after you still have five Test matches. When I am finally up there because I performed well for the Leeward Islands to get selected and when you’re from the Leeward Islands and get selected for a West Indies team back then, it has to be something and you have to be doing something good,” he said.
Meanwhile, former national and Leeward Islands opening batsman, Earl Waldron, agreed that Joseph was not given enough time and opportunities to solidify his place in the team.
“I was so happy for Bouncing and then I realised they pushed him to the top [of the order] and I think he had a 40-something  against a good England attack and I was so proud of him at that time because I know the job an opening batsman does is special; it is not an easy place to bat,” Waldron said. Joseph captained the West Indies in one ODI match due to the more experienced players being unavailable courtesy of contract disputes.