Kemar Andre Jamal Roach, born on June 30, 1988, in St. Lucy, Barbados, is a renowned cricketer who has made significant contributions to the West Indies cricket team. Roach is widely recognized for his impressive speed and exceptional ability to swing the ball in both directions, which has positioned him as one of the finest fast bowlers of his time. Despite his modest height, which is atypical for fast bowlers, Roach's exceptional skill set and determination have seen him unsettle some of the best batsmen in the world. Over the years, he has been instrumental in many of the West Indies' cricketing triumphs, earning accolades and setting records along the way. Off the field, Roach's humble demeanour and dedication to the sport have made him a beloved figure among fans and peers alike. His journey from the local cricketing circuits of Barbados to the international arena stands as a testament to his talent, hard work, and passion for the game.
Kemar Andre Jamal Roach was born on June 30, 1988, in St. Lucy, Barbados. From a young age, his passion for cricket was evident, and he quickly made a name for himself in the local cricketing circuits. In a region renowned for producing some of the world's finest fast bowlers, Roach emerged as a beacon of hope for West Indian cricket enthusiasts. Despite standing well under six feet, a height typically associated with fast bowlers, Roach's ability to generate extreme pace set him apart from his peers. He consistently clocked speeds in the late 140s (kph), catching the eyes of selectors and fans alike.
His rapid pace and ability to skid the ball onto batsmen quicker than they anticipated made him a formidable force in domestic cricket. Representing teams like Barbados, Antigua Hawksbills, and the West Indies Under-19s, Roach showcased his talent and potential, paving the way for his entry into the international arena.
Kemar Roach's introduction to international cricket was nothing short of spectacular. He claimed 13 wickets in his first two Test matches against Bangladesh, immediately establishing himself as a bowler to watch out for. However, it was during the tour of Australia in 2009-10 that Roach truly announced his arrival on the global stage. Bowling consistently at speeds around 150kph, he unsettled many of the Australian batsmen. One of the most memorable moments from that tour was when he forced the legendary Ricky Ponting to retire hurt after striking him on the elbow with a blistering 146 kph delivery during the Perth Test.
His performances did not go unnoticed in the cricketing fraternity. In the 2010 Indian Premier League (IPL) auction, the Deccan Chargers secured his services for a substantial sum of $720,000. However, Roach's prowess was most evident in the longer format of the game. This was further solidified by his ten-wicket haul in two Tests against Sri Lanka in 2010-11 and his maiden ten-wicket haul in Tests in 2012 against Australia in Trinidad.
By the end of 2014, Roach seemed poised to fulfil the immense promise he had shown early in his career.In 29 Tests, this player exhibited great potential to become one of the top bowlers in the West Indies, with a mid-20s bowling average and a strike rate below 50. However, an ankle injury during the Centurion Test in December 2014 temporarily halted his progress. Post-recovery, Roach's pace diminished, and he struggled to find his rhythm, resulting in a dip in his performance. This phase saw him taking just nine wickets in eight Tests, which included series against England and Australia. Consequently, he was left out of the squad for the 2016 home Tests against India.
Determined to make a comeback, Roach turned to domestic cricket to regain his form. His efforts bore fruit as he claimed 23 wickets at an average of 16.17 in the 2016-17 Professional Cricket League. He was selected for the West Indies' Test squad during the 2017 England tour due to his impressive performance. It's worth noting that Roach has been a valuable asset to both the West Indies team and Surrey in the English County Championship. His impressive performance was a key factor in helping Surrey win their 21st title in 2022.
Roach's journey from a young boy in Barbados to one of the West Indies' leading fast bowlers is a testament to his talent, determination, and resilience. His ability to bounce back from setbacks and continue to perform at the highest level makes him an inspiration for aspiring cricketers worldwide.
Kemar Roach's cricketing journey is adorned with numerous accolades and memorable performances. In 2012, he achieved a remarkable feat in his profession by becoming the first West Indies bowler to take 10 wickets in a Test since 2005. This accomplishment truly showcases his exceptional skills and talent in the field.This feat showcased his dominance in the longer format of the game. Roach has played a crucial role in the West Indies' achievements, having amassed more than 250 wickets in Test matches and over 100 ODI wickets for the team.
During the 2011 Cricket World Cup, Roach made a remarkable achievement for the West Indies. He became the very first West Indian bowler to have taken a hat-trick in a Cricket World Cup. He accomplished this impressive feat during a match against the Netherlands, where he dismissed Pieter Seelaar, Bernard Loots, and Berend Westdijk in three consecutive deliveries. His performance in that match didn't stop there; he went on to claim figures of 6/27, which stands as the fourth-best bowling figures by a West Indies player in ODIs. Throughout the tournament, Roach emerged as the West Indies' leading wicket-taker, securing 13 wickets from 6 matches.
Roach's prowess wasn't limited to international cricket. He also made significant contributions in domestic cricket. He played a crucial role in the Brisbane Heat's triumph in the BBL02 title and was an essential part of the Surrey side, which clinched the 2022 County Championship title.
Kemar Roach's statistics are a testament to his consistency and skill as a fast bowler. In the Test format, he has played 77 matches, during which he bowled 13,929 balls and claimed 261 wickets. His best bowling figures in an innings stand at an impressive 6/48. These figures come with a commendable bowling average of 27.44.
In One Day Internationals (ODIs), Roach has represented the West Indies in 95 matches. He has bowled 4,579 balls and has taken 125 wickets. His best figures in this format are a staggering 6/27, and he boasts a bowling average of 31.08.
Roach's T20 International career might be shorter in comparison, but it's no less impressive. In 11 matches, he has bowled 234 balls and taken 10 wickets with a best bowling figure of 2/25. His T20I bowling average stands at 28.40.
Apart from his international records, Roach's first-class career is also noteworthy. He has played 150 matches, bowled 24,024 balls, and taken a whopping 488 wickets. His best bowling figures in first-class cricket are an astounding 8/40.
Throughout his career, Roach has been known for his pace, ability to swing the ball, and his knack for picking up crucial wickets. His records and statistics are a clear reflection of his dedication to the sport and his role as one of the leading fast bowlers for the West Indies.
Kemar Roach's career has been punctuated with numerous personal highlights and unforgettable moments that have etched his name in the annals of cricket history. One of the standout moments in his career was when he completed his first ten-wicket haul in 2012, becoming the first bowler to achieve this feat for the West Indies since Corey Collymore in 2005. This accomplishment was even more significant as the last West Indian to achieve this against Australia was the legendary Curtly Ambrose in 1993.