Leicester, England – Fast bowler Kemar Roach has been ruled out of the remainder of the West Indies’ tour of the United Kingdom.
Roach has been sidelined with shin muscle soreness and will return home to Barbados to allow this to heal before starting a bowling programme again.
West Indies team physiotherapist C.J. Clark said Roach’s workload has led to muscle soreness due to the repeated strain of bowling at high velocities. “Kemar has been carrying this soreness for the last two matches, and in view of our upcoming schedule, we would like him to have the time to recover and prevent the onset of more serious injury,” said Clark.
“It is always important to balance workload with the body’s ability to repair, and I think it judicious to protect Kemar at this time.”
In a release, the selection committee of the West Indies Cricket Board advised that off-spinner Sunil Narine will replace injured fast bowler Kemar Roach in the West Indies’ Test squad on their tour of the United Kingdom.
The 24-year-old Narine is yet to play Tests for West Indies, but has played eight One-day and two Twenty20 Internationals for the Caribbean side.
Roach has been West Indies’ most effective bowler in the two Tests played in England, taking eight wickets at 34.25 apiece. He did not travel with the rest of the squad on Wednesday to Leicester, where West Indies face Leicestershire in a two-day, tour match at Grace Road, starting on Saturday. Instead, he returned to the UK capital of London and departed for home.
West Indies coach Ottis Gibson said Roach was a major loss, but the decision was taken in the best interest of the fast bowler.
“We still have an awful lot of cricket to play this year and we did not want to risk losing as valuable a player as Kemar for a long period,” said Gibson.
“He has been outstanding with the ball for us so far this year and we are all gutted by his departure. “Kemar made a lot of improvements, after enduring a tough time last year, and gave us some World-class performances during the Digicel 2012 Series against Australia and here in England.”
West Indies trail 0-2 against England in the Test series, but Gibson indicated Tino Best and Fidel Edwards were chomping at the bit to play, and felt the two fast bowlers were more than enough firepower on the ground to replace Roach.
“We believe that a very excited Tino and a fit-again Fidel will be able to provide us with the spark that we will miss from Roach’s absence,” said Gibson.
“We still have an awful lot for which to play in the final Test, and Tino and Fidel can give us the cutting edge to our bowling if they play.”
Best is yet to play a match on tour. He arrived as an injury replacement for Shannon Gabriel, who made his debut in the first Test at Lord’s, but subsequently returned home with a back injury. Edwards played in the first Test, but was sidelined for the second Test, which ended on Monday at Trent Bridge in Nottingham.
2-3: Leicestershire vs West Indies – Grace Road, Leicester
7-11: 3rd Test – Edgbaston, Birmingham
13: Middlesex vs West Indies – Lord’s, London
16: 1st One-day International – The Ageas Bowl, Southampton
19: 2nd One-day International (d/n) – Kia Oval, London
22: 3rd One-day International – Headingley Carnegie, Leeds
24: Twenty20 International – Trent Bridge, Nottingham
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