Alzarri Joseph: Rising Star from Antigua to IPL Glory

Alzarri Shaheim Joseph, born on 20th November 1996, is a talented cricketer hailing from Antigua. He has made significant contributions as a member of the West Indies cricket team in Tests and ODIs. In domestic cricket, he represents the Leeward Islands and the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, showcasing his skills as an all-rounder with a penchant for right-arm fast bowling and right-handed batting.

Joseph’s journey in cricket reached new heights when he was chosen by the Mumbai Indians franchise as a replacement for Adam Milne for the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) season. His performances in the IPL earned him recognition and added to his growing list of accolades.

Early Achievements and Under-19 Success

Before making his mark in domestic and international cricket, Joseph was a promising player in the West Indies under-19s team. His journey began when he made his first-class debut for the Leeward Islands during the 2014–15 Regional Four Day Competition. A memorable moment came in the following season when he took his maiden first-class five-wicket haul, finishing with figures of 5/99 while opening the bowling with Gavin Tonge. He continued to shine when, in the next match against the Windward Islands, he recorded another five-wicket haul, this time with figures of 7/46.

In December 2015, Joseph’s talent was recognized when he was named in the West Indies squad for the 2016 Under-19 World Cup. His contributions during the tournament played a crucial role in West Indies’ victory. Joseph finished as the leading wicket-taker for his team, with 13 wickets from six matches, including a standout performance of 4/30 against Zimbabwe, earning him the title of Man of the Match.

International Debut and Rising Stardom

Joseph’s impressive performances led to his inclusion in the West Indies Test squad for their series against India in July 2016. He made his Test debut on 9th August 2016, marking the beginning of his international journey. Soon after, he made his One Day International (ODI) debut for the West Indies against Pakistan on 2nd October 2016.

Recognizing his potential, Cricket West Indies (CWI) awarded Joseph a contract across all formats of cricket for the 2018–19 season, signifying his status as a key player in West Indies cricket.

One of the most poignant moments in Joseph’s career came during the 2nd Test match against England in early 2019 when he continued to play despite learning of his mother’s passing after the 2nd day’s play. His commitment and resilience garnered admiration and respect from the cricketing community.

In June 2020, Joseph was once again named in the West Indies’ Test squad, this time for their series against England, which was postponed to July 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He continued to evolve as a cricketer, scoring his maiden Test fifty on 5th December 2020 against New Zealand.

Joseph’s remarkable performances extended to ODIs, and he earned a spot in Cricinfo’s ODI team of 2020. His consistency and impact on the field were evident.

T20 Success and Return to International T20s

Joseph’s T20 career includes a remarkable stint with the Mumbai Indians in the IPL. In March 2019, he joined the Mumbai Indians as a replacement for Adam Milne. On 6th April 2019, he made his IPL debut against the Sunrisers Hyderabad, achieving figures of 6/12—the best bowling figures for a debutant in IPL history. His exceptional performance also included the best bowling figures in the IPL, breaking an eleven-year-old record held by Sohail Tanvir. Joseph became only the second player to take a five-wicket haul on IPL debut, following Andrew Tye. His outstanding bowling figures remained the best in a T20 at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium.

Joseph’s T20 journey extended beyond the IPL when he was selected to play for the Amsterdam Knights in the inaugural edition of the Euro T20 Slam cricket tournament in July 2019. Despite the tournament’s cancellation the following month, Joseph’s reputation continued to grow.

In July 2020, he joined the St Kitts & Nevis Patriots squad for the 2020 Caribbean Premier League (CPL), demonstrating his versatility in the T20 format. His performances earned him recognition, and he was bought by the Gujarat Titans in the auction for the 2022 Indian Premier League tournament, showcasing his T20 prowess.

A Bright Future Ahead

Alzarri Joseph’s journey from a promising talent in the West Indies under-19s team to an IPL sensation and an integral part of the West Indies cricket team is nothing short of inspiring. With his exceptional bowling skills, all-round capabilities, and the ability to excel in different formats, Joseph’s future in cricket looks exceedingly bright. He continues to be a symbol of determination and dedication, representing the spirit of Caribbean cricket on the global stage.

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