SPORTS

Where Is Jermaine Blackwood?

The aggressive Jamaican batsman Jermaine Blackwood was until recently, a fixture in first class and international cricket in the Caribbean.

Blackwood made his first-class debut in 2012 and test match debut in 2014 and has been a regular member of the Jamaican Four-Day and One-day teams and played consistently for the West Indies test team.

He has played 81 first-class matches, scoring over 4000 runs at an average of 31.7 and 27 test matches, making 1324 runs at an average of 30.09.

Since 2018, however, Blackwood has seemingly disappeared from the cricketing scene in the West Indies, he was not picked for any of the five home test matches against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and has not played in any of the Caribbean Premier League games even though he is a member of the Jamaica Tallawahs squad.

This situation has resulted in people from all over the region asking, “Where is Jermaine Blackwood?”

Now, pundits and fans have posited different reasons for Blackwood’s current hiatus in international cricket.

One of the main reasons put forward for his current wilderness experience is his poor form in test cricket in 2017 which eventually led to his axing from the West Indies team.

He played five test matches in 2017, batting nine times, scoring a paltry 198 runs at an average of 22. Blackwood was also playing in a cavalier and carefree manner, giving away his wicket to injudicious shots at critical moments in test matches which resulted in his commitment and focus being brought into question.

He was dropped from the West Indies team to play some first-class cricket and score runs before deemed fit to be considered for West Indies selection again.

Lack of first-class cricket in 2018 thus far, however, has only afforded him two four-day matches for the West Indies A -Team, where he scored half-centuries in each of the games.

That said, he will need to score heavily in the 2018/2019 Regional first-class competition to put himself back in contention for a spot in the West Indies team.

T-20 Cricket has also not been Blackwood’s strongest forte; he has a played a total of 19 T-20 Games, tallying 168 runs at a meager average of 12.92 and a strike rate of 80.38.

He last played a match in this format in 2015, and even though he is in the Jamaica Tallawahs squad, it would be challenging for him to get a game due to the depth and strength of the team.

His lack of pedigree in T-20 Cricket, coupled with the fact that only this format is currently being played in the region has contributed to his seeming obscurity.

If Blackwood wants to play more cricket, he will need to develop his T-20 game, transforming himself into an all-format player which will make him a more marketable cricketer. If he continues to be considered a long format player and does not get back into the West Indies team quickly, his cricketing opportunities will be minimal.

So, where is Jermaine Blackwood? He is traveling with the Jamaica Tallawahs team in the Caribbean Premier League and also awaiting the opportunity to play first-class cricket in the upcoming season for Jamaica.

I look forward to seeing him play and recapturing the form that got him into the West Indies team initially, how well he does, will determine if and when he gets the opportunity to represent the West Indies team again.

Until then Blackwood will remain the new invisible man!

Readers Bureau, Contributor

Edited by Jesus Chan

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