Especially since Ramdin is an automatic ODI pick
Says Sean Devers
The appointment of 23-year-old Barbadian Jason Holder as the youngest ever West Indies Captain comes as a shock to most West Indian fans, especially since Test Skipper Denish Ramdin is only 29 and seems an automatic pick for the World Cup with the experience of 115 ODIs to his name.
Only Tatenda Taibu (20 yrs), Nawab of Pataudi (21), Waqar Younis (22), Graham Smith (22), Shakib Al Hasan (22), Ian Craig (22), Javed Miandad (22), Murray Bisset (22) and Mohammad Ashraful (22) have led their sides at International level at a younger age than Holder since 1877 when Test cricket was first played.
Holder made his ODI debut against Australia last year and has 29 wickets from his 21 games at an average of 28.65 and the decision to appoint Holder, considered by some as an all-rounder.
But his highest score at this level is 22 and his appointment to captaincy ahead of Ramdin, who has two centuries and five fifties in ODI cricket and has already been established as Test Captain, is baffling.
More strange it the utterances of the once highly respected former West Indies Captain Clive Lloyd that Holder will continue to grow and demonstrate leadership.
“He has a very good cricketing brain and has the makings of a very good leader,” said Lloyd, who was appointed to Head the IMC, set up by the Guyana Government to take control of Guyana’s cricket until the GCB’s next Elections.
One wonders how Lloyd, who jumped ship from Government’s IMC Chairman to the Chairman of the WICB selection panel, came to this conclusion when Holder has never captained any team before. The recommendation to replace Bravo with Holder was made by Lloyd who claims Holder’s appointment was made ‘with an eye on the future’.
Lloyd said now is the time to make the transition. “Some might say it’s close to the time of next year’s ICC Cricket World Cup in Australia and New Zealand but we know that we have a good one-day team which can do very well,” Lloyd, who seems divorced from the realities of West Indies cricket, added.
Lloyd seems to be working on instructions from the WICB and it appears those involved in the ‘pull out’ from the India tour two months ago, are being subtly phased out of the West Indies set-up. Holder could also find himself undermined by the senior players, something he would no doubt have at the back of his mind.
“I obviously look up to all the senior players in the squad,” Holder said. “My role has primarily just shifted a little bit into leading and guiding these guys. It’s something I’m up for.
“I think I’ll have the support of the senior guys because I have a pretty good relationship with them. It’s just about moving West Indies cricket forward and I think most of the guys can buy into what I’m going to put forward, and I think that is best for West Indies cricket,” Holder said.
The WICB seems not be thinking of how well this team plays but how well they can have control over the players and Holder’s appointment seems similar to that of Darren Sammy’s elevation to Captaincy, when his St Lucian countryman was WICB Head, since Holder is not deemed a ‘certain pick’ in every West Indies ODI side.
There is no Bravo, Gayle, Pollard, Narine or even Chanderpaul in this team yet Lloyd think this is “a good one-day team which can do very well.”
West Indies are ranked eighth in the world in ODIs, with only Bangladesh and Zimbabwe behind them and with the World Cup just two months away this is not the time to be making decisions that could further embarrass the West Indies on the field based on politics and how many votes could be acquired by favourable deals for certain territories.
At a time when a lot of ‘big’ money is involved in cricket, West Indies Cricket is at an all time low and the executives of the WICB must not think of what cricket can do for them but rather what their positions on the Board can do for the cricket.
Of course West Indies fans are fed up the sub-standard performance of players, but they are also fed-up of the performance of the Board and demand changes be made, and not only of the players.
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