Despite losing the red-ball captaincy after five-and-a-half years in the role, pacer Jason Holder is still an “integral part” of the side, said West Indies’ lead selector Roger Harper. He also added that it is an opportunity for Holder to take his game to “higher levels”. On Thursday, Cricket West Indies appointed Kraigg Brathwaite as Windies Test skipper and Holder was relieved of his duties. Brathwaite led the side to a 2-0 series win in Bangladesh last month after Holder opted out of the tour due to fatigue and concerns about the Covid-19 protocols in place.
“We must appreciate what Jason has done as captain. He came in at a very young age, took the captaincy at a time when the team was a little unsettled, and he grew with the job and performed creditably. He’s had his moments of success and he has grown as a player as well to become the leading all-rounder in the world,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Harper as saying.
“I really think that Jason is a very integral part of the Test team and West Indies cricket going forwards. He plays all three formats and I think it’s an opportunity for him to really focus on taking his game to higher levels. I think that with him at his best and with Kraigg given the captaincy, it’s an opportunity for the team to move forwards,” he added.
Holder was named in the squad for the first of the two-match Test series at home against Sri Lanka. The Test squad features several players who recently participated in the 2-0 victorious Test series in Bangladesh.
Two senior players who did not play in the Bangladesh series, all-rounder Holder and left-handed batsman Darren Bravo, have returned to the Test squad which will be led by Kraigg Brathwaite.
“I look forward to him performing exceptionally well in his role as a player and still as a leader as one of the senior players in this team. It was great to hear him say that he’s committed to giving Kraigg all the support needed and hearing the new captain saying that they have a very close relationship. I think that augurs very well for West Indies cricket going forward,” Harper said.
The first Test will be played at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium from March 21-25. The selection panel also named the squad for the CWI President’s XI to face Sri Lanka in a two-day warm-up match at Coolidge Cricket Ground on March 17-18.
Windies squad for 1st Test: Kraigg Brathwaite (captain), Jermaine Blackwood (vice-captain), Nkrumah Bonner, Darren Bravo, John Campbell, Rahkeem Cornwall, Joshua Da Silva, Shannon Gabriel, Jason Holder, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Kemar Roach, Jomel Warrican.
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