Alzarri Joseph

November 20, 1996 – Alzarri Shaheim Joseph was born to Alva and Sharon Joseph of All Saints Village. His early education was at the Foundation Mixed School before moving to the All Saints Secondary School.

Joseph credits his grandmother, who worked as a scorer at the Antigua Recreation Grounds, as being the one who influenced his interest in cricket. By the time he officially started playing cricket at the age of fourteen (14) representing his secondary school, his bowling action had transitioned from leg spinner to a right-arm fast bowler. His bowling exploits in his very first inter-school cricket competition season drew keen interest from the domestic cricket fraternity. He would emerge as a lethal fast bowler, most outstanding among his secondary school peers.

Joseph had another sports interest football during his school years, but he came to the realisation early on that he could do quite well at cricket and became focused on that sport. In an interview with The Guardian (July 3, 2020) he stated “ I realised, this is actually really fun. I could put some work in and really become something.” He began putting in the work necessary to improve his craft

At age fifteen (15) Alzarri’s dad, recognising his son’s talent, engaged former West Indies pacer and friend Winston Benjamin to harness the obvious natural talent. Benjamin worked with Alzarri through the years and gives full credit to his tremendous talent and his serious commitment to putting in the required work.

Winston Benjamin holds Joseph in very high esteem, admiring how far he has come. He notes that he has seen Joseph grow both as a cricketer and as a person. He indicated that Alzarri has become more sociable and open to conversation; something he would have shied away from earlier on. He jokes about the occasions when Joseph would boast about new cooking skills he would have acquired as a result of having to cook for himself as he traveled with the team. Benjamin points out that though Joseph has risen to a level of stardom in the cricketing world, he continues to maintain his usual demeanour socialising as normal within the community; playing dominoes with the guys, and maintaining his usual devotion to his family. One piece of advice he has for the cricketing star, “Work hard, stay humble and success will come from doing simple things consistently.”  Benjamin predicts that there is still much more to come from Alzarri.

Alzarri also benefited from the guidance of Pernell “Roxie” Joseph during his time playing with the All Saints Cricket Team in the Antigua Barbuda Cricket Association (ABCA) Competitions and the Cool & Smooth T20 Explosion Competitions.

Shortly after his eighteenth (18th) birthday in November 2014, Alzarri made his regional debut for the Leewards versus the Windwards in Grenada (4-day competition). He was selected for the West Indies U-19 in January 2015 preparing for the ICC Tournament later in the year and played in the Regional Tournament with the Windies U-19 as part of the preparations. He was one of the opening spell bowlers for the ICC Under-19 Tournament 2015-16 and Windies leading wicket-taker, thirteen (13) wickets in six (6) matches. His best performance was 4/30 against Zimbabwe earning him man of the match. He took 3/39 in the finals versus India.

In 2016 Joseph was selected for the Windies Test squad for the series against India. He made his Test debut in August 2016 in the third match of the series. His Windies One Day International (ODI) debut was against Pakistan in October 2016. He made his T20I debut on July 29, 2022, against India. In October 2018, Cricket West Indies (CWI) awarded him a contract across all formats of cricket for the 2018–19 season which is still in force.

Alzarri’s best Test Bowling is 3/33 in an innings and 6/88 in the match versus Bangladesh, June 2022, Sir Viv Richards Stadium, Antigua. As of November 2022, Alzzari is ranked number seventeen (17) on the ICC’s ODI ranking. His best ODI bowling is 5/56 versus England, on September 29, 2017 (Kensington Oval, Barbados). His best T20 bowling is 4/16 versus Zimbabwe, October 19, 2022 (Bellerive Oval, Zimbabwe.

Joseph’s maiden Test fifty (50) was on December 5, 2020, on the way to his highest score of 86 runs in the second innings versus New Zealand (1st Test Seddon Park, New Zealand). His highest ODI score is 49 on August 19, 2022, versus New Zealand in Bridgetown. His highest T20 score is 11 versus Australia on October 7, 2022 (The Gabba, Australia).

Among his most memorable spells is the morning of the second day of play during his first test match (2nd test versus England 2019) in Antigua at the Sir Viv Richards Stadium when he snagged 2 wickets during a devastating bowling spell and a brilliant catch after receiving news of his mother’s death.

Joseph made his CPL T20 Debut  in July 2016 with the St. Kitts & Nevis Patriots and last represented in the CPL with the St. Lucia Kings (2023).

He has risen to the elite of T20 Cricket,  the IPL playing with the Mumbai Indians (March 2019). He holds the record of best bowling figures for a debutante, 6/12, and the second player to take a five-wicket haul on an IPL debut. He also broke the eleven-year (11) record for the best bowling figures in the IPL.  He was injured in a subsequent match and unable to effectively complete the season with the Mumbai Indians. He was released in 2020.  In 2022 he was bought by the Gujarat Titans and was part of their successful first season campaigns straight to champions.  He was retained by the Gujarat Titans for the 2023 season and purchased by the Johannesburg Super Kings Franchise in the South African T20 League which bowls off in January 2023.

For the 2023 West Indies CG United Super 50 regional competition Alzarri was appointed as captain of the Leewards Islands Hurricane, leading his team to the finals.  In recognition of his good stewardship in his first tour as Leewards Island captain, he was appointed vice captain of the One Day International Squad for the home series against England in December 2023.  Selector the Most Honorable Dr. Desmond Haynes said: “We named Alzarri Joseph as vice-captain as he demonstrated maturity and good leadership qualities for the Leeward Islands Hurricanes during the recent CG United Super50 Cup. We believe with exposure and opportunities he could be a future leader in West Indies cricket.”