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Australia v West Indies 2022/23

West Indies rush in 36-year-old club cricketer as emergency sub-fielder after horrific injury crisis

West Indies coach Phil Simmons (L), and sub-fielder Omar Phillips (R)
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

West Indies were forced to call up a 36-year-old club cricketer to field in the second Test against Australia after being hit by a dramatic injury crisis both before and during the game.

Omar Phillips, who last played first-class cricket in 2017, is playing club cricket in Adelaide, and was rushed to the Adelaide Oval to serve as a sub-fielder with West Indies short on numbers.

The tourists’ injury woes began before the second Test, with Kyle Mayers, Kemar Roach, Jayden Seales, and Nkrumah Bonner all ruled out due to a variety of injuries. They had also lost Raymond Reifer earlier in the tour, leaving them with only 10 fit players from their originally named squad.


Jamaica quick Marquino Mindley was flown over from the Caribbean as last-minute cover, but he also came a cropper, bowling only two overs before leaving the field clutching his hamstring.

That meant Mayers, suffering with a shoulder injury, was forced to retake the field and stand at slip, and the beacon was sent out for Phillips to come to their aid. He took the field in the afternoon.

Phillips played two Tests for West Indies in 2009 against Bangladesh, one of seven debutants after several West Indies players had pulled out due to a dispute with the West Indies Cricket Board (now Cricket West Indies). He performed creditably as the Tigers won both Tests, making 94 in the first and finishing with an average of 40.

Should West Indies require a concussion substitute during the game, it is likely that Phillips will be the player to benefit, giving him a third Test cap, 13 years after his first two, and five years after he last played a first-class game.

Despite the depletions to their squad, West Indies performed creditably through the first two sessions, taking three Australia wickets. These included one for Devon Thomas, who also played on that 2009 Bangladesh tour, and is making his Test debut. A batter by trade, he claimed two international wickets in 2009, and then had to wait 13 years until trapping Usman Khawaja lbw.

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