West Indies win over Australia, Shamar Joseph seven-wicket haul, West Indies ICC funding, IPL contracts, Test cricket funding, news, highlights, videos

West Indies quick Shamar Joseph became an instant cult hero with a remarkable seven-wicket haul to down world’s No.1 ranked Test team at the Gabba on Sunday.

Now his rapid rise will bring with it a dilemma facing many rising stars from the Caribbean.

The 24-year-old will likely soon face a huge decision regarding the future of his burgeoning career with T20 franchises across the world to inevitably come knocking with lucrative offers.

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It’s an incredible position Joseph finds himself in given his journey to this point.

Hailing from a village in Guyana with a tiny population of only 350 people that didn’t have internet or telephones until 2018, Joseph’s ascension is as unlikely as it is remarkable.

Only a handful of years ago the fast bowler, who nudged 150km/h in Brisbane, quit his job at a security firm and set his sights on a West Indies Test cap. That moment came earlier this month when he earned a debut for the first game of a two-Test series in Australia.

It was an incredible moment for a young man who had spent the majority of his cricketing life bowling with a taped tennis ball.

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Joseph instantly stamped his mark on the Test arena, taking the scalp of Steve Smith with his first ever delivery before going onto record figures of 5/94. He followed that up an unforgettable 7/68 at the Gabba that broke a drought of 27 years for the West Indies in Australia.

The fact that he did it with a badly injured big toe made the performance all the more remarkable.

The win was a huge boost for a West Indies side missing a host of first-choice stars, an absence that revealed a recurring problem facing the Test team.

Former captain Jason Holder and Kyle Mayers both opted to play in domestic tournaments in the United Arab Emirates and South Africa over the tour to Australia,

Joseph, however, made it clear where his priorities lie after finishing the series with 13 wickets at 17.30.

“This is my dream, to play cricket for the West Indies,” he said after the match.

“I’m not afraid to say this. I will always be available to play for the West Indies, no matter how much money comes towards me. I will always be here to play Test cricket.”

West Indies legend Brian Lara couldn’t contain his excitement and clapped the young seamer on after his impassioned comments.

Should he continue his trajectory, Joseph can expect to be offered huge sums that could match those handed to fellow countrymen Alzarri Joseph, Rovman Powell, Sherfane Rutherford and Shai Hope in the 2024 IPL auction.

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Alzarri Joseph earned himself a $2.1m AUD payday, while West Indies T20 skipper Rovman Powell took home $1.353m AUD, with the remaining duo both netting over $136k AUD.

Speaking ahead of the Test series, former Australian skipper Allan Border acknowledged how difficult it was for West Indies stars to turn down the life-changing contracts.

“The West Indians get paid maybe a couple of $100,000 US, which sounds like good money to play for a full season,” Border said on the Follow On podcast.

“But then you get offered this million dollar contract to go and play IPL, or whatever T20 tournament it is, (and) it is hard for that individual to say, ‘I (will) dedicate myself (and) I want to play Test cricket. I want to play for the West Indies.

“And then old mate over here goes away and gets a million dollars for eight weeks of work, or something like that. It’s hard to combat that.”

West Indian skipper Kraigg Brathwaite, however, believes Joseph’s matchwinning spell could be the catalyst for change, reshaping the way his nation and its players views red ball cricket.

“This is a new beginning for us, we now have work to do,” he said.

“I believe we have the talent and it shows the world that we are going to be competitive and win Test matches, but we need more Test cricket.

“This shows the world that we are going to be competitive and win Test matches, but we need more cricket. That’s my cry.

“This is a message for whoever it may be, we need more Tests.”

It was a message echoed by former great Ian Bishop who took to Twitter pleading with the West Indies board to do everything they can to look after the nation’s quicks.

“Important for the board, Guyana government and corporate bodies to find a way to allocate funds to compensate Shamar Joseph and one or two other fast bowlers to keep them in the Caribbean and control how much cricket they play,” Bishop tweeted.

“Their pace is everything. Don’t allow burnout.”

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