Fast bowler Shamar Joseph continues to reap the rewards from his exploits in his debut Test series versus Australia, with Cricket West Indies (CWI) awarding the Guyanese quick with an international retainer contract for the 2023/24 period on February 1.
Via a press release, CWI said the 24-year-old Joseph received an upgrade from his previous franchise contract for his "outstanding performance and invaluable contribution" to Kraigg Brathwaite's West Indies team in their thrilling eight-run win against the Aussies in the second Test of their two-match series.
Limping around The Gabba, Brisbane ground with a busted toe on January 28 after a wicked Mitchell Starc yorker brought an abrupt end to his innings the day before, Joseph bowled West Indies to their first Test victory on Australian soil since 1997 with impressive figures of seven for 68 in a ruthless spell of fast bowling. Joseph came in for high praise from former Windies great and international legends, and his performances brought him the Man-of-the-Match award for the second Test, to go along with the Player-of-the-Series award.
Joseph took 13 wickets in the series, with his debut spell of five for 94 at the Adelaide Oval giving him a dream start to Test cricket.
Enoch Lewis, CWI director and the chairman of the Cricket Development and Performance committee said, "As exhilarated as we are, it is also dutiful to elevate Shamar Joseph to a CWI International retainer contract.
"His extraordinary talent and steadfast dedication serve as the cornerstone of our team's recent triumph at The Gabba, and such promise merits its due recognition. Shamar has not just been rewarded with a retained contract he has earned it."
CWI's director of cricket, Miles Bascombe, also chimed in on Joseph's potential and his contract upgrade.
"Shamar's elevation to a CWI international retainer contract reflects his potential and the bright future ahead for West Indies cricket," Bascombe said.
"We have also offered Chemar Holder a franchise contract as we double down on securing the best fast-bowling talent available."
Holder, 25, featured alongside Windies Test and One-day international (ODI) vice-captain Alzarri Joseph in the Caribbean team's successful campaign at the 2016 International Cricket Council (ICC) under-19 World Cup. Holder played the lone Test match for the Windies in 2020 and has since had his fair struggles with injuries.
The CWI release said, "With these contract upgrades, CWI reaffirms its commitment to nurturing talent and fostering excellence within the team."
The board vowed to support Holder on his comeback journey and said the Barbados pacer has expressed "eagerness to be reintegrated at the highest level."
In December, CWI announced the 14-man list of centrally contracted players for the 2023/24 period. The quartet of Alick Athanaze, Keacy Carty, Tagenarine Chanderpaul and Gudakesh Motie received contracts for the first time.
Kyle Mayers and former West Indies skippers Jason Holder and Nicholas Pooran declined the contract offers but confirmed their availability for T20 internationals during the year.
Windies contracted men's players for 2023/24: Alick Athanaze, Kraigg Brathwaite, Keacy Carty, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Joshua Da Silva, Shai Hope, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Shamar Joseph, Brandon King, Gudakesh Motie, Rovman Powell, Kemar Roach, Jayden Seales and Romario Shepherd.