The Caribbean cricket community is enjoying the glory of winning by the Gabba and the debut of Shamar Joseph on the world cricket scene. While everyone is celebrating, there is a cricketer who takes great pride and joy in Shamar’s extraordinary accomplishments – Romario Shepherd.
Romario and Shamar, despite being five years apart, have been lifelong pals and neighbors. Both hail from the Baracara area in north-eastern Guyana. Their childhood memories are interspersed with the famed Canje Creek.
Romario and Shamar
“His arrival is something. But I do believe in destiny, which is his destiny. It’s unbelievable, and I’m so happy for him,” says Romario, a white-ball specialist with the West Indies team, about Shamar’s dramatic rise.
“He will go a long way because I know he works hard and has a big heart. Who can question his heart after watching him run and bowl at 150 mph with a burst toe.”
Shamar’s dazzling 12 overs, accompanied by a bruised foot at the Gabba where he took seven wickets, changed the tables during his pink Ball test against Australia, leading to an eight-run victory for West Indies. Romario recognizes the performance by saying, ” Well, it’s among some of the best cricket performances in the West Indies.
“So the sky’s the limit for him. I advise him to continue working hard and asking questions like he always does, to be disciplined, and to respect the game. And remember always to have fun. That’s the reason we all started to play Freepsports 247.”
Romario’s advice to younger players must mean something to them. He was the one who introduced Shamar to the world of big-time cricket. On one occasion, he was awed by Shamar’s talent. Romario, who has participated in 28 ODIs and 32 T20Is, remembers the incident.
I had to leave the area after primary school and used to see him on and off. We used to play cricket in my yard; he was my next-door neighbor. And when I saw him bowl, he was bowling quickly. So I took him to train with me, and the first ball of the morning, he had me off my feet with a short ball.”
Shamar was keen to be a part of his training all day, and the senior teammate was happy to accommodate. “So after that, he asked me to train with the first-class team (Guyana). I introduced him to our coach. At that time, it was (Esuan) Crandon. He (Shamar) never looked back since.”
Romario’s Help and Support:
Shamar recognizes Romario’s help and support. So, he has greatly inspired me as a fast bowler. I learned a lot from him. He always advised me to keep going and keep believing in myself, and what you want to achieve will always come,” Shamar, a 24-year-old pacer, shares with Cricbuzz.
Shamar will stay focused on the popularity he has gained. Shamar wants to remain grounded. It’s amazing to hear that. That is already out there. I want to stay humble, be disciplined, and enjoy it. That’s all I want to do — enjoy every moment in my creating career and my future.”
In a retrospective of the magical beginning of Shamar’s career (he has only played two tests to date), Shamar says, “Well, all I can say about my performance in these two tests is that it was amazing. It was a great start for me in my cricketing career. I must say I’m happy and thankful for this great opportunity. And I want to take every thought in my mind and every past moment here to take forward in my career and move forward in the future.”