Louis replaces Roach in Windies squad for Test series

West Indies batting legend and Chiefselector, Desmond Haynes.
Associated Press / Andres Leighton, file

Cricket West Indies announced that uncapped Leeward Islands Hurricanes pacer Jeremiah Louis will replace long-standing fellow pacer Kemar Roach in the West Indies Test squad for their three-match series against hosts England.

Roach is currently undergoing rehabilitation from a knee injury that occurred while representing reigning champions Surrey in the English County Championship.

“Kemar’s skill and experience in English conditions will be missed,” lead selector, Desmond Haynes said. “This opportunity has been long in the making for Jeremiah Louis, and he certainly has the skill and experience to make an impact in England.”

Louis, who made his senior debut for the Hurricanes against Trinidad & Tobago Red Force close to a decade ago and is a right-arm medium-fast bowler with a similar ability to Roach.

He has appeared in 57 first-class matches and has taken 151 wickets, and he is also a decent lower-order batsman.

Louis twice got elevated to the West Indies “A” team, but he had no significant impact, so this will be a major chance to prove himself.

West Indies opener Kraigg Brathwaite
West Indies opener Kraigg Brathwaite bats during play on day two of the first cricket test between the West Indies and New Zealand in Hamilton, New Zealand, Friday, Dec. 4, 2020. Andrew Cornaga/Photosport via Associated Press

The absence of Roach, will be a big blow to the plans of the Test side, led by opener Kraigg Brathwaite, against an England side, led by Ben Stokes and had rapid scoring rates in recent matches.

Roach took 18 wickets in six appearances this season for Surrey and was looking forward to the three Tests after he proved his enduring ability to swing the ball in English conditions in a match-winning spell of six for 46 in his penultimate match against Warwickshire in May at the Oval.

Roach said last month he had no plans to retire any time soon.

West Indies are set to play a warm-up match against a County Select XI from July 3 to 6 in Beckenham before the three-Test series for the Viv Richards & Ian Botham Trophy, which they currently hold.

The second Test from Thursday, July 18, takes place at Trent Bridge in Nottingham, and the third Test from Friday, July 26, will be played at Edgbaston in Birmingham.