Roach using Big Bash to enhance WI
PERTH, AUSTRALIA - While Kemar Roach jokes he has been given a map to find the Gabba, there is a highly serious side to his debut appearance for the Brisbane Heat tonight.
Roach, the Calypso fast bowler, can now laugh about being lost in transit on the way to Australia last week, but his broad smile quickly disappears when he is asked about missing the West Indies' Twenty20 World Cup triumph in October.
For all his rip-roaring fast bowling talents, the 24-year-old has only played one T20 international in the past two-and-a-half years and that was a modest match in Bangladesh.
Roach is laid-back off the field but has vowed to make the speed gun soar against the Perth Scorchers at the Gabba tonight, in the start of a mission to make West Indies selectors take notice of his T20 ability.
"I haven't been picked for Twenty20 cricket for the West Indies for a while - I am raring to get back into that T20 side and hopefully that road starts here," Roach said.
"I want to put in a good performance in this (Big Bash) tournament."
Roach's trip to get to Australia has been one of cricket's quirky talking points after he went on a long and arduous odyssey which Bear Grylls would have been proud of.
He had to cop a delayed flight out of Bangladesh, where the West Indies had been playing, meaning he missed a connecting flight and ended up in China before jetting to Melbourne and then finally on to Adelaide where the Heat were playing.
Not surprisingly, Roach missed the Heat's win over the Strikers with severe jet lag. It was just as well after he fell asleep in the team dugout during the match.
"The trip was very frustrating but now I've got some rest and I'm ready to go," he said.
"They (the Heat) have given me a map to get to the Gabba ... which is good, because the GPS on my car isn't working."