Leicester: West Indies head coach Ottis Gibson has lamented the loss of fast bowler Kemar Roach for the rest of the England series but says he expects the rest of the pace department to fill the vacuum. Roach on Wednesday was ruled out of the tour with shin muscle soreness and will return home to Barbados to recover and start a rehabilitation programme.
"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 [Roach] for a long period," Gibson 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."
Roach is the second bowler to leave the tour with injury after rookie Shannon Gabriel also returned home following his debut Test at Lord's two weeks ago. He was replaced by fiery Barbadian Tino Best, who Gibson said he now expected to play a significant role on the remainder of the English campaign.
"We believe that a very excited Tino [Best] and a fit-again Fidel [Edwards] will be able to provide us with the spark that we will miss from Roach's absence," Gibson said. "We still have an awful lot for which to play in the final Test, and Tino and Fidel can give the cutting edge to our bowling if they play."
Best arrived ahead of the second Test at Trent Bridge and is now expected to play his first game of the series in the two-day fixture against Leicestershire at the weekend. Edwards played in the first Test but missed the second.
The third Test starts at Edgbaston from June 7.