London: Kemar Roach is out of the remainder of the West Indies tour of England with a shin injury. Sunil Narine has been named as his replacement.
Roach, the best fast bowler on view for the visitors on the tour so far, was diagnosed with the injury after the second Test at Trent Bridge, which West Indies lost to give the series to England. The injury is an old one, but had acted up recently.
The exciting news is that Narine, man of the tournament at the recently-concluded Indian Premier League, will replace him. Interestingly, Narine had chosen to play the IPL for Kolkata Knight Riders instead of being available for selection for West Indies in their recent home Test series against Australia and the first two Tests against England.
A WICB statement announced: “Roach has been sidelined with shin muscle soreness and will return home to Barbados to allow this to heal before starting the bowling programme again.”
Team physio CJ Clark added: “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. 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.”
Coach Ottis Gibson felt the loss of key player like Roach at this stage was a big blow to the side, but the decision was taken with a long-term view. "We are all gutted to be honest. But, we still have an awful lot of cricket to play this year and did not want to risk losing as valuable a player as Kemar for a long period. He has been outstanding with the ball for us so far this year. Kemar made a lot of improvements, after enduring a tough time last year, and gave us some world-class performances during the series against Australia and here in England," Gibson said.
Narine had played eight One-day Internationals and two Twenty20 internationals for West Indies before the call-up for the third Test against England, which begins on June 7 at Edgbaston.
Roach's injury meant that two pacemen have left the West Indies touring party already. Shannon Gabriel flew home immediately after the first Test – his debut – at Lord's, and was replaced by Tino Best.