New Delhi, Jan 23: West Indies bowler Kemar Roach believes “Test cricket” is still at the heart of West Indies despite the allure of T20 leagues and franchise cricket.
A seasoned cricketer with 267 wickets in 145 Test innings, Roach finds himself in the latter stages of his career, he remains committed to Test cricket, taking each day as it comes. Despite the allure of T20 leagues and franchise cricket, Roach asserted that Test cricket holds a special place in his heart. He reminisced about the legends of West Indian cricket and expressed his desire to be part of that revered tradition.
"I love Test cricket," Roach said to ESPNcricinfo. "Honestly, I love the red-ball format. I've played one-dayers and the T20 format as well but I think my heart was always a part of the red ball. I just wanted to be a part of those mega cricketers back in the day. The Joel Garners, the Malcolm Marshalls, Curtly Ambrose, Courtney Walsh, I just want to be a part of those names.
Roach played his last game in the franchise world of T20 in 2018 which also includes a stint with Brisbane Heat. The last time the Heat won the BBL was in 2012-13 when Roach claimed 3 for 18 against Perth Scorchers at the WACA.
"And I think for me, obviously, I didn't grow up much in the franchise era. So I had Test cricket at heart, and it has stuck with me throughout. I just think it is different times now. So for me, it's just about these youngsters, and what they want to achieve from it. And they make the right decisions and they go forward (in their) careers.
While Joseph contemplates a future that now includes T20 deals and global recognition, Roach highlighted the significance of keeping Test cricket at the core of West Indian players' aspirations. Despite the distractions posed by lucrative franchise leagues, Roach believes that the red-ball format still resonates deeply with the young talents in the Caribbean.
"The franchises are a big distraction," he added. "But guys still want to relish red-ball cricket. Test cricket is still at the hearts of West Indian cricketers at home. It's just about us to provide support around it. To keep those guys interested in red-ball cricket. Discussions will be had. I'm not part of it. They take Tests very seriously still. They are very proud to be a part of the red-ball team for the West Indies."