Cricket

Fit-again Roach champing at bit for UK tour

Thursday, April 18, 2019

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — Experienced West Indies seamer Kemar Roach is hoping for a major impact on the upcoming tours of Ireland and the World Cup, after recovering from the injury which forced him out of the recent England one-day series.

The 30-year-old bowled superbly in the preceding three-Test series to finish with 18 wickets and claim Man-of-the-Series honours but was then struck down with a stress reaction of the back and played no role in the five-match ODI rubber which finished 2-2.

Recalled for the Tri-Nations Series in Ireland next month, Roach said he was looking forward to finding his rhythm again.

“[I'm] fully recovered from injury, not a 100 per cent, still [need] time to build up. [It is] still a couple weeks before the first game in Ireland, so I am gradually improving and I will be ready for the first game,” Roach said at the West Indies training camp at 3W's Oval.

“[I had a] stress reaction on the left side of his back, obviously bowled a lot of the overs in the last series against England, which took a toll on me but I am back now and ready to go.”

He continued: “Looking forward to the World Cup if selected. Obviously want to go there and hopefully put in a performance that will make the people of the Caribbean proud. I have been working towards that in the last couple of weeks so hopefully if selected, I will give it my best shot and go out there and try hard to bring home the silverware for the West Indies.”

Roach is the most experienced bowler in the current West Indies set-up, with 184 wickets in 53 Tests and 114 scalps from 80 ODIs. His knowledge will be seen as crucial, especially in the United Kingdom, where seam is expected to play a major role in seam-friendly conditions.

He is one of five pacers in the 14-man squad for the Ireland Tri-Nations, with captain Jason Holder, Shannon Gabriel, Raymon Reifer and Sheldon Cottrell all included.

Roach said the gravity of his role in the squad was not lost on him.

“I am one of the experienced guys, so I have to set a good example for all of the other guys to follow,” the Barbadian said.

“It is all about us coming together and formulating a plan to put West Indies in good positions so that they can win games. That's what is important.”

The Ireland Tri-Nations, which involves Bangladesh, runs from May 3-17 and will be the last series before West Indies start their campaign in the World Cup, which runs from May 30 to July 14.

And Roach said his preparation prior to leaving the Caribbean would also be crucial to his performances.

“I have been in the gym a lot and have been receiving therapy from at Jackie's clinic (Barbados Pride physiotherapist Jackie King),” he explained.

“I have been doing a lot of work on my back and on my action and technique as well. Hopefully in two weeks' time, I should be ready to go at full gust.”


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