Jason Holder, the former West Indies Test skipper, has been named as one of Wisden’s five Cricketers of the Year to follow in the footsteps of retired Jamaican batsman Marlon Samuels.
The 29-year-old Bajan all rounder, who was unceremoniously stripped of his captaincy and replaced by compatriot Kraigg Braithwaite ahead of the recent visit of Sri Lanka, joined the England trio of Zak Crawley, Dom Sibley and Darren Stevens as well as Pakistan’s Mohammad Rizwan on the list.
Wisden, the sport’s most authoritative publication, said about Holder: “He was at the helm when West Indies toured England [in 2020] and played a central role in his side’s only win over England”. Holder was at the helm for last year’s historic three match series at the height of the global COVID-19 pandemic, which became the inaugural bio-secure Test matches.
He was captain on the tour to New Zealand, yet he only registered one success from five Tests over the past 12 months and that was mainly down to his sensational 6-42 figures in the first innings of the opening game in England where the tourists claimed a four-wicket win at Hampshire CCC’s Rose Bowl pitch in Southampton.
Holder, fresh from last month’s drawn two Tests against Bangladesh in Antigua, is currently competing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for Sunrisers Hyderabad.
He is only the third Windies player over the past nine years to win such an accolade, following in the footsteps of Samuels in 2013 and compatriot wicketkeeper Shai Hope three years ago.
West Indies’ veteran all rounder Kieron Pollard has also earned a top distinction from Wisden, named as a Leading Twenty20 Cricketer in the World. The Trinidadian 33-year-old has been in fine form for the Windies but was exceptional in leading Trinbago Knight Riders to the Caribbean Premier League title and playing a pivotal role in Mumbai Indians’ capture of the IPL.
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