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Pick of the pack


Barbadian all-rounder Jason Holder believes a good showing in the upcoming West Indies Cricket Board’s season could see him being catapulted into the forefront of the thinking of the WICB selection panel.†The giant 21-year-old bowls right-arm fast medium and is also a stylish lower-order batsman. He had his first taste of international cricket during the just concluded tour of Bangladesh, but did not play a match. He was called up as a replacement for Tino Best, who was ruled out with an injury.†On his return home, Holder is expected to turn out in the ongoing inter-parish 20/20 tournament in Barbados. According to him, his only off-day during the Yuletide Season will be Christmas Day.

Jason Holder bowling in the nets during the recent tour of Bangladesh.

“When I return home it is back to the nets for me … won’t be any time for off days. I have a big season ahead of me starting with the Caribbean T20. I will spend some time with my family and relax on Christmas Day, but apart from that, I will be hitting lots of balls, bowling lots of balls and doing lots of fielding drills,” Holder said.

“There is no time to take off. The selectors gave me a golden opportunity to go on the tour of Bangladesh and even though I didn’t get a game, I felt I did what was required. I want to make sure that I remain in the minds of the selectors and to do that I have to perform in a big way when I play in the regional tournaments next year. There’s a lot of cricket next year and there will be lots of opportunities to showcase my skills.”†

Holder was peculiarly overlooked by the Barbados selectors and will play for Combined Campuses and Colleges in the Caribbean T20. He is also looking to make a mark in the WICB Regional four-day competition and Regional Super 50 tournament – both of which bowl off in February.

“I think I have a point to prove after not being selected in the Barbados team. I wanted to play for my country first. I believe everyone dreams of playing for their country. I’m pumped up for all the games, I’m feeling confident and want to prove my worth. I have played for CCC before and I know everyone in the team quite well. We have a good team and a good structure. We need to come together and play as a unit. Don’t be surprised if we shock a few people,” he said.

Looking back on his time in Bangladesh, Holder said it was not spent “warming the bench”. He noted “there was lots to do and lots to learn.”

“This tour was a very good learning experience. I fully enjoyed every moment and the camaraderie in the camp was great. I’m looking to work my way fully into the West Indies team. I gained a lot of knowledge and experience while in the nets and just having discussions with my team-mates and the coaching staff,” Holder added.

“Obviously, there’s nothing quite like being out there and playing in the middle, but I didn’t get that opportunity in the middle, so the next best thing was to make the most of my time off the field. I worked really hard in the nets and tried to develop a few new skills. It was also good to get a first-hand look at conditions and the cricketing landscape in Bangladesh as well as get an experience the culture of the country.” (windiescricket)††

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