‘Don’t want to just be an average cricketer’: Oshane Thomas wants to be counted among the greats, eyes Test debut in England
Cricket will makes its return in July after more than three months out due to Covid-19 lockdowns imposed around the world. The first series after the period with be played in England with West Indies cricket team flying in from the Caribbean with a 25-member squad. Three players Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer and Keemo Paul all declined the invitation to travel to England for the tour.
The West Indies squad will arrive in the UK on Tuesday 9 June, travelling to Emirates Old Trafford for quarantining and training. West Indies pacer Oshane Thomas is relishing the chance to play Test cricket as he wants to be counted among greats and knows that Test cricket is the route he needs to follow to realise his dream.
Thomas was named a reserve in West Indies’ 25-member squad for the England tour.
The 23-year-old has so far represented West Indies in white-ball cricket after bursting onto the scene in 2018 but he is yet to play in the traditional format, considered to be the holy grail.
“I definitely want to play Test cricket; I want to do well in all three formats,” Thomas, who has played 20 ODIs and 12 T20Is for West Indies so far, was quoted as saying by ‘Jamaica Observer’.
“Test cricket is really the ultimate that everyone wants to play to be great. You don’t want to just be an average cricketer; you want to be among the greats.” Thomas had earned a call-up in the Test squad during last year’s home series against England which West Indies won 2-1 but the youngster didn’t get a game.
“I didn’t get to make my debut, but hopefully (I will) this time around,” he said.
Besides the 11 reserves, West Indies have announced a 14-man squad to tour England next week for the proposed three-Test series which will be held behind closed doors in a bio-secure environment to reduce the risk of transmission of the coronavirus.
Thomas said he has received some words of encouragement from West Indies head coach Phil Simmons.
“Coach Phil (and I), we always have a talk. He says I can’t be bowling that fast -- probably bowling the fastest in the Caribbean -- and not play in his Test team,” said the Jamaican, who has so far scalped 27 wickets in 20 ODIs and claimed 15 wickets in 12 T20Is.
“I just want to relax, bowl, put the ball in the right areas and let the ball do the work. Even if I’m not playing I’ll be training and keeping my fitness up. If I’m not playing I want to learn as much as a can.”Thomas was in good nick before the coronavirus pandemic forced a cricket shutdown across the globe.
The towering pacer had claimed a five-wicket haul in the first T20I as West Indies blanked hosts Sri Lanka 2-0 in early March.
“Coming back from the Sri Lanka tour — a good series (and taking) a five-wicket haul and then the pandemic just came into play and no cricket. Last week is my first week back bowling on a pitch. I had been doing some little bowling here and there.
“I’m very happy to be back bowling and I’m looking forward to playing Test cricket. It’s just up to me as a person; I just need to be fit and ready, and I should be in the Test team,” he said.
Thomas had escaped serious injuries when he met an accident in February this year.
(with PTI inputs)