By Carlena Knight
One former West Indies fast bowler had nothing but commendations for Antiguan pace bowler Alzarri Joseph following the news that the 26-year-old was named in the International Cricket Council’s One-Day International (ODI) Team of the Year.
The ICC Team of the Year recognises 11 outstanding individuals who have impressed one and all – be it with the bat, the ball or their all-round exploits in a calendar year.
The news broke late last week as Joseph joined his teammate, batsman Shai Hope.
For some those accolades would come as a surprise but fellow countryman Kenny ‘Flipper’ Benjamin saidit was just only a matter of time.
He hopes that Joseph can in fact continue to progress.
“Alzarri is a super athlete you know. If we look at Alzarri now compared to what he looked like before, you see all the cuts, all the chisel; I myself envy him,” Benjamin said jokingly.
“I think he is growing from strength to strength,” he continued, “and I believe that we can expect great things from him. He looks like he is enjoying his cricket and that is very good. He looks relaxed and I am just happy that he is really and truly now showing everybody what we knew he could do years ago,” Benjamin added while speaking on the Good Morning JoJo Sports show.
In 2022, Joseph became one of the leading wicket-takers in ODIs, capturing 27 at an average of 25 from 17 matches for West Indies. He was also the leading fast bowler in the world last year.
The Leeward Islands and All Saints Pythons player debuted against India at Gros Islet in August 2016 and bounced out Virat Kohli for three for his first wicket.
His ODI debut came a few months later against Pakistan in Sharjah.
Both Joseph and Benjamin are presently in Zimbabwe as the West Indies will gear up to face the home team in a series of Test matches starting this week.
Benjamin was recently appointed the bowling coach, while Joseph was selected as one of a handful of fast bowlers in the squad.
Over the weekend, the team played in a couple of warm up matches against a local side.