Estwick wants “talented” Keemo Paul playing more red-ball cricket

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By Akeem Greene

West Indies Assistant Coach Roddy Estwick has described Guyanese cricketer Keemo Paul as an exceptional talent with an extremely bright future, but says he wants to see him back playing more red-ball cricket.

Paul last played a full season of First-Class cricket in the 2017-18 season, which catapulted him into the Test squad in July 2018 after he had some impressive stints in the limited-overs format.

This season he played only one First-Class match and got seven wickets against Barbados Pride.

His last of three Tests was in February 2019 against England where it was cut short due to injury.

On the flip side, from March 2019 to February 2020, he has featured in 37 limited-overs matches for West Indies.

With Jason Holder being the captain and the main all-rounder who bats at eight, then the three faster men, Paul has found it difficult to break into the Test XI, but he has been a constant face in the 15-man squad, except for the series in England where he opted not to tour.

Keemo Paul has impressed thus far in his white-ball career for West Indies

“Keemo is a very talented cricketer; he obviously hasn’t played First-Class cricket now for a while because he has been with the West Indies team and been on the T20 circuit; It will be good to have him back to see where he is at,” the Assistant Coach told reporters on the Virtual presser Monday.

The all-rounder, who was part of the Delhi Capitals side in the Indian Premier League, is part of both the Test and T20I squads for the tour to New Zealand, which starts later this month.

A unique feature of the tour will see the West Indies A team play two Four-Day matches against New Zealand A, concurrent with the Tests.

The Test reserves, T20 players and players who are not part of the Test match can feature and Estwick hinted it will be a chance for Paul to showcase his red-ball skills.

“We have got two First-Class matches coming up to see where he is at, but we know the talent in Keemo Paul, a wonderful talent and there is no doubt about that.”

He added, “Keemo is only 22, so it is about how hard they are willing to wait and how much preparation they are going to put in. Once Keemo can do that and he can get First-Class cricket under his belt then there is no doubt about his talent.”

The coach highlighted that the one full season Paul played, he took over 40 wickets (42 to be exact) which shows his natural ability.

“…getting back to bedding down to playing red-ball cricket is going to be very important; he has played a lot of white-ball cricket in the last two years so it now how quickly he adjusts to playing red-ball cricket.”

Apart from West Indies white-ball duties, Paul has been active in the Caribbean Premier League and the Indian Premier League.

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