• West Indies in England 2012

Shin injury forces Roach out of England tour

Andrew McGlashan
May 30, 2012
Kemar Roach has caused England problems during the series © PA Photos

Kemar Roach has been ruled out of the remainder of West Indies' tour of England with a shin injury and will return to the Caribbean immediately.

Roach, who has been West Indies' stand-out pace bowler during the Test series, was diagnosed with the injury following the second Test at Trent Bridge which the visitors lost by nine wickets to give England the series. He has been carrying soreness during most of the tour - and has spent time off the field during both matches - and will now aim to be fit for the visit of New Zealand.

West Indies coach Ottis Gibson admitted Roach was a major loss but said the decision was taken with a long-term view in mind. "We still have an awful lot of cricket to play this year and we did not want to risk losing as valuable a player as Kemar for a long period," he said.

"He has been outstanding with the ball for us so far this year and we are all gutted by his departure. Kemar made a lot of improvements, after enduring a tough time last year, and gave us some world-class performances during the series against Australia and here in England."

C.J. Clark, the West Indies physiotherapist, added: "Kemar has been carrying this soreness for the last two matches and in view of our upcoming schedule, we would like him to have the time to recover and prevent the onset of a more serious injury. It is always important to balance workload with the body's ability to repair, and I think it judicious to protect Kemar at this time."

During the first two Tests Roach bowled 68 overs to take eight wickets at 34.25 although he bowled better than the average suggests. At Trent Bridge he roughed up Jonny Bairstow with a series of rapid bouncers before having him caught at mid-on off a leading edge. However, he also suffered major problems with no-balls and twice had Alastair Cook caught behind off illegal deliveries before recovering his rhythm on the third day.

The West Indies management have yet to decide on a replacement player and the one-day squad is due to be named shortly. Roach is the second West Indies pace bowler to leave the tour following Shannon Gabriel's withdrawal after making his debut at Lord's. Gabriel was replaced by Tino Best who arrived shortly before the second Test.

West Indies have a two-day tour match against Leicestershire, starting on Saturday, to prepare for the final Test at Edgbaston and Gibson said Best and Fidel Edwards, who played at Lord's, will have a chance to stake a claim for a recall.

"We believe that a very excited Tino and a fit-again Fidel will be able to provide us with the spark that we will miss from Roach's absence," he said. "We still have an awful lot for which to play in the final Test, and Tino and Fidel can give us the cutting edge to our bowling if they play."

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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