Form over future for Joseph
Robbie Joseph has put his county cricket future to one side as he continues to repay the faith shown in him by Leicestershire.
The 30-year-old was handed a second chance in the English domestic game by Leicestershire, who offered him a contract until the end of May on the back of a successful pre-season trial after he was released by Kent in November.
And the Antigua-born seamer has proved to be an inspired signing during the first month of the season, replicating the form that earned him an England Lions call-up in 2008.
He has snared 14 LV= County Championship scalps in three matches, including six-wicket hauls in each innings of the season opener against Glamorgan at Grace Road.
Joseph, who has yet to receive an offer to extend his short-term contract, is content to concentrate on his form rather than worrying about his future.
“I was very grateful. It’s not a very nice thing when you are released from a club, but Leicester have given me a chance and I am hoping to capitalise on that,” he told ecb.co.uk.
“I’ve settled in quite well, the guys are quite a young lot who are very friendly, work hard together, play good cricket and I’ve enjoyed my time so far.
“Nobody likes to be out of work. For me to have a second chance to play cricket is something that I want to enjoy, stay focussed and hopefully the rest will take care of itself.
“I haven’t really been looking out there (for new offers). I haven’t been focussing on that, I’ve just been focussed on winning games for Leicestershire.
“Having been out of a job and someone giving me a chance, my job is to try and win games of cricket. As long as I am doing that and I’m happy, then I’m happy to continue the way it is.”
After Nathan Buck, who signed a contract extension at the club last month, missed the start of the season with a back injury, Leicestershire’s bowling options have been depleted further by the loss of former England seamer Matthew Hoggard to a hand problem.
Despite head coach Phil Whitticase’s outfit losing their influential captain and most experienced bowler, Joseph does not feel any added pressure to perform.
“I’ve worked on a few bits and pieces with (high performance coach) Lloyd Tennant. I’ve just tried to bring what I have to the table and so far it has worked. I haven’t tried to over complicate it, I just want to take wickets,” he said.
“Whether I am leading it or supporting someone, my job is to take wickets. Cricketers take wickets or score runs and there is no less pressure or more pressure with him being injured.
“It would be nicer to have him there with his experience and what he can do, but it’s turned out he is not there at the moment and we just have to make do with what we have. We have enough to win games of cricket.”
Joseph has occupied the county circuit for some time, but university commitments and injuries have limited his progress.
He featured in just six four-day matches at Canterbury last term, while failing to make any limited-overs appearances.
Now Joseph is looking to make up for lost time, signalling his intentions to perform in all three formats for his new county.
“I am looking to play all forms of the game, it’s cricket, it’s competing and it’s something I love doing. I want to make an impact in all forms of the game,” he added.