Batsmen from the Caribbean have always played cricket with utmost flair. Jermaine Blackwood is perhaps the latest example of this.
Over the ages batsmen from these islands have come and taken the world by surprise and the ones who went on to show some consistency made it big in the most beautiful format of the game: Test match cricket.
It was the New Zealand tour of the West Indies in July 2014 and while the whole world concentrated on Brazil, there was a scintillating Test match taking place in Port of Spain. The visiting Kiwi side was in red-hot form and looked like they would take West Indies to the cleaners. They were 1-0 up in the Test series and looked good for a whitewash.
The Windies did well in the first innings, skittling out the visitors for just 221. They also came out to bat with notable determination as Braithwaite and Darren Bravo both made centuries. But the man who moved them into a position of strength was a debutant.
Jermaine Blackwood batted at no 8 but showed his class with a well crafted 63 off 110 balls which was studded with 6 boundaries and 2 sixes. He wasn’t needed in the second innings as West Indies went on to win the test match by 10 wickets to level the series.
Jermaine Blackwood had showed why he belonged at the highest level of the game.
Sir Vivian Richards himself admitted upon being ‘impressed’ by the youngster when he first saw him at the Sagicor High Performance Center. Richards also said that the board must stick with Blackwood and that the Jamaican must not curb his natural instincts. He also added that it must be ‘admired and celebrated’.
Blackwood went on to notch his first Test hundred in the drawn match against England in the ongoing series which reasserted his credentials as a batsman.
There will certainly be sterner tests coming his way under the cloudy English skies, on bouncy wickets in Australia or the dusty tracks of the India, but the early signs are quite promising.