A right-arm fast bowler, Kemar Roach was part of the Barbados and West Indies Under-19 teams before being called-up to West Indies' third Test squad against Australia in his hometown. He was originally slated to play in the Lancashire league in England at around the same time as a professional but was ineligible as he had only played four first-class games, one short of the required number. To his good fortune, it left a window open for Test selection.
He made his international debut in the ODI tri-series in Canada the same year and was also named in the touring party to New Zealand. He was unexpectedly called up to the Test squad against Bangladesh in 2009 after the senior team boycotted the St Vincent Test over a contract dispute.
He was one of the leading bowlers in that series and bagged a six-wicket haul with a hostile spell in Grenada. He was the leading wicket-taker across both sides in the one-dayers which followed. He won admirers in Australia for his hostile pace and in one Test, forced Ricky Ponting to retire hurt. He was one of the top draws in the third IPL auction and was bought by Deccan Chargers for $720000.