His rise to Test cricket has been remarkable on the back of just five first-class games, having grown up in the village of Baracara in Guyana, which could only be reached by boat. He has now shot to global prominence and is being talked about as part of West Indies’ future as they look to rebuild their Test cricket, but Joseph already has an ILT20 deal and more such offers are unlikely to be far away.
“The best advice I can give him is to build his own legacy,” Roach said. “Understand what you want from cricket. That’s up to him to determine, if it’s monetary, or if it’s just stats and statistics or whatever. There’s going to be a lot of distractions… he’s a hot commodity right now. So he needs to choose what he really wants and what he thinks is best for his career going forward. So it’s up to him, as a young man, but I definitely give him that advice.”
Roach, the senior figure in West Indies’ attack with 80 caps to his name, is happy to take on a mentor role having had similar players to feed off early in his career.
“As a bowler coming to Australia you are bowling against some of the best batters in the world so there is always a good challenge,” he said. “I love a good challenge. I have lived for that my whole career so for me coming here is just about expressing yourself, enjoying and relishing the moment and giving it a good go. Be confident in yourself and your skills and let’s see how the day goes for you.”
“I love Test cricket,” he said. “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 days. The Joel Garners, the Malcolm Marshalls, Curtly Ambrose, Courtney Walsh, I just want to be a part of those names.
“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, what they want to achieve from it. And they make the right decisions and they go forward [in their] careers.
“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.”