AB de Villiers is a genius. At the age of 37, he is proving that he still has a lot to give to cricket.
Since writing my article, ‘What happened to Joel Paris’ in October of 2019, Paris’ career has taken another turn.
Due to recent international duties and quarantining for Western Australia players Jhye Richardson, Jason Behrendorff and Andrew Tye (among others), Paris has been given the nod by state selectors in three of the last five Western Australia Marsh One Day Cup fixtures this month.
Having represented Australia in ODI cricket back in 2016, Joel Paris has become accustomed to the role of a predominately white-ball specialist.
Paris has also played three Sheffield Shield games for Western Australia this season and ended with a bowling average of 36.75 and four wickets. Compared to this season’s One-Day performances, his recent red-ball matches in the black and gold haven’t been as dominant.
In his three One-Day Cup games in 2021, Paris has picked up 2/62 off 10 overs against South Australia, 4/50 off 10 against Queensland and 4/21 off 7.1 overs against Victoria. Also, in these matches, Paris has gone at an economy rate of 4.91 and is averaging 13.30 with ball-in-hand.
It will be interesting to see if Paris will retain his spot in the Western Australia side as the left-arm pace bowler after Jason Behrendorff finishes his two-week quarantine following his national squad tour to New Zealand. Similar to Paris, Behrendorff is also in form, coming off a successful Perth Scorchers campaign in which he earnt an Australia T20 team selection on the back of.
Behrendorff will be available for Western Australia selection ahead of their next One Day Cup tie against Tasmania on April 8 at the WACA Ground.
If Paris isn’t selected to play in WA’s next Sheffield Shield fixture against Victoria for the 25-28 March, it is likely that he will represent Claremont-Nedlands in the WACA first Grade grand final instead. The match will be played at Lilac Hill against Wanneroo and will feature big names such as Brad Hope, Nick Hobson, Cameron Steel, Jim Allenby, Kelvin Smith and Travis Birt.
In the three first Grade appearances Joel Paris has made for Claremont-Nedlands this year, he’s finished with 1/31 and 2/32 at an average of 21.00. In the match that Paris didn’t bowl in, against Gosnells, he managed to score a quick-fire 40 off 29 batting at number 6.
Witnessing Joel Paris get back in form is a delight for all of Western Australia cricket. With Mitchell Starc being the resident left-arm pace bowler for Australia in the shorter formats, the odds of Paris ever playing for Australia again are looking slim.
However, if he continues this success in the One Day Cup and gets backed by the Western Australia selectors, the stage is set for Joel Paris to once again become one of the country’s most renowned and feared fast bowlers.