ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Fast bowler Kemar Roach has taken aim at 300 wickets after crediting “blood sweat and tears’ for the achievement of equalling the legendary Michael Holding on 249 wickets, during the opening Test against Bangladesh which finished Sunday.
The 33-year-old, who was adjudged Man-of-the-Match for his seven-wicket haul in the contest at the Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium, said he anticipated continuing at international level for a few years yet, giving him enough time to reach the cherished landmark.
Courtney Walsh (519), Sir Curtly Ambrose (405), Malcolm Marshall (376) and Lance Gibbs (309) are the only West Indies bowlers to have passed 300 wickets.
“[I want to reach] 300 Test wickets. I have 249 now but I still have two to three more years in me,” Roach said.
“I am proud because of how I started. Obviously I came into the team under very difficult conditions and then obviously to build a career and get amongst the greats, is always a good feeling.
“I am always one for stats. I love my stats. I always look at my stats – every night. Even if I’m not playing, I still look at my stats so it’s good to be among the greats. It’s good to be up there with all the fantastic people in West Indies cricket.”
Roach overtook the peerless Sir Gary Sobers (235) during the England series last March and now lies joint sixth on the all-time West Indies list next to Holding.
His next target before the 300 club will be Joel Garner who is fifth on the all-time list with 259 wickets.
Roach is the only active West Indies player with more than 200 Test wickets, the next best being Shannon Gabriel with 161.
On last Saturday’s third day of the opening Test, Roach picked up his tenth five-wicket haul in Tests and now averages 26 from a 72-match career.
“It’s been commitment and hard work and I’ve had to improve on my skill. I lost pace due to injury so I had to improve on my skill,” he said.