2020 hasn’t been a travel year but a year for planning holidays. The tour and vacation have been paused words at this moment of time. Yet, whenever we google the Caribbean, the holiday vibe and party mood grow from the inside. The tour of the Caribbean can be made and specifically the Instagram spot of Barbados which is for me, the heart and soul of the Caribbean.
Rihanna can be a part of that reason is she is seen in most of her holidays as her favorite spot in her hometown. The megastar has taken Barbados to many places around the globe. She has made her hometown recognized as a tourist destination that millions of visitors do relax by the shore of the sea in the beautiful beaches around the Island.
The island of Barbados is nicknamed as “Bim”.The echo of this word can be heard around the island buzzing most of the time. The residents of the Bim are known as “Bajans” meaning most and extremely patriotic. Bajans are known for thier adventure sports as surfing and are usually vivacious in nature. Bim is also known as the birth place of Rum. The 1500 shops around the Island and many more distilliaries justifies the availabilty of Rum around the area. If you haven’t got a perfect mix for the rum, undoubtedly Bim can be the solution.
Likewise, the island is famous for its love towards cricket and the party mood they create around the stadium before the pandemic arrived in the world. Apart from giving birth to Rum, Sir Garfield Sobers, perfect blend of bat and ball was a proud son of the Bim. This Bajan was a flamboyant 6ft tall all-rounder, who made batting look so easy in eyes. According to Wisden, he used to make catches at deep point and throw towards the danger end look pretty easy to the eye too. His catching ability could be reflected in his rich stats alongside his day in and out for 20 years long supreme cricketing career for the West Indies.
The 21st century saw the birth of yet another blend of bat and ball, a tall and calm character in Jason Holder. As his name explains, he definitely has been evolved as a healer for West Indies cricket involving himself in famous comebacks and wins in the recent times. The calm and composed nature of Jason has hold the red ball cricket of Caribbean together.The evolution of T20 has certainly made red ball cricket far from the celebrities of short format of the game.
Barbados has certainly been home to one of the greatest all-rounders in Sir Garfield Sobers and on contrary to it, it is also home to modern cricket’s most underrated all-rounder, Jason Holder. Here’s what Anish Luitel has got in store for us.
Jason Holder: all in one package
Usually, when we think fast bowling we think speed. More so, when we think about Caribbean fast bowlers. He is the tallest bowler in test cricket. He is strong. Yet he is not quick. But, as we know fast bowling is not just speed. It is control, discipline, and most importantly skills- It is the package that makes Jason Holder one of the best fast bowlers in all conditions and with any ball against any sort of opponent. According to the ICC, he is the current No. 1 allrounder in test cricket.
Jason holder, in terms of calmness both as a captain and bowler, is relentless Jason holder, a 6′ 7″ player, who is 28 years, belongs to the land of Barbados. He has been leading the West Indies test team since 4 September 2015 and is the second youngest test captain of all time for the West Indies. Also, he became the youngest player to captain the ODI team when he was handed over the leadership from Dwayne Bravo when he was just 23 years 72 days.
EARLY DAYS OF JASON…
He played exclusively for the Barbados U-19 team and has also won the Lord Gavron award for being the outstanding performer in the year 2009. He was an integral part of the WI campaign for the 2010 U-19 World Cup in Newzealand. He finished as the highest wicket-taker for WI bagging 13 wickets. Then, he was taken into the limelight as a promising youngster who could well contribute to the success of WI cricket in the days to come. He has a supreme record in the domestic career in terms of bowling. He has an economy of less than 3 in the first class and has taken 196 wickets in just 74 matches at an average of 24.9. His continuous efforts led him through to the squad of the WI cricket team.
THE STRIDE TO NATIONAL COLOR
After all, had work, he got capped in the ODI team on 1st February 2013 against Australia. He recalled that moment as the best moment ever in his life, but his performance in his first-ever series was not so significant. His first notable performance in the ODI format came only against Pakistan in July 2013. He bagged 4 wickets for just 13 runs, but on a losing cause.
He explains that moment as the most awful moment in terms of batting. His batting ability was identified in the same series when he and Kemar Roach helped the West Indies team to a tie. He had scored 19 not out in 9 balls. He also said in an interview that he got confidence in the batting after that performance and felt always hungry for runs afterward.
After a quite an impressive performance against Pakistan, he was called up to the T20I squad for the series against Newzealand. He was expensive giving away 34 runs in 3 overs but returned clipping away two important wickets later.
THAT “DREAM CAME TRUE” MOMENT.
If you ever ask cricketers in the world about their goals, I bet you about what they might say; 100% of the players would say that they are working hard to represent the test side of their nation. Such is the beauty of test cricket. The same was to be in the case of Jason. He was all excited and a bit nervous to represent his nation’s test team.
He was capped as a test player on the 26th of June 2014, against Newzealand. His performance with the ball was quite an average where he finished the match with 2 for 50. His first test scalp happens to be the experienced Ross Taylor, who was dismissed for just 16 runs. But, he made a significant contribution with the bat in the match scoring 90 runs, including his maiden test fifty. WI lost the match by 53 runs though. Since then, he has contributed a lot to the WI test team.
PRESSURE TO CAPTAIN THE TEAM IN YOUNG AGE
Before Holder’s appointment by the selector panel, Dwayne Bravo was leading the ODI team with an average record of 12 wins in 27 ODIs. The WI board on an interview said that the main reason for appointing him as a captain was for the sake of the future of West Indian Cricket as they had noticed a fair bit of leadership in him right from his debut.
Holder in an interview with ESPN Cricinfo said,” I’m very happy to be appointed in the post. It’s something I’ve always looked forward to from (the time I was) a youngster. Obviously being able to take over the mantle of Dwayne Bravo is a bigfoot to fill. I’ll just try to move the team forward”.
He became the important element for WI cricket team who can lead a way towards success. At such a young age and with the huge responsibility, he had nothing to worry about because he had the helping hands of experienced campaigners around. But, the ongoing dispute between the players and the association added a bit pressure in maintaining the harmony and coordination in the team. Suddenly, the balance in the team and the coordination lacked which led the WestIndian cricket team to a major loss. But, he (Jason) was hopeful to build the team once again and lead the team towards victory.
West Indies lost the five-match series against South Africa by 4-1 in the first-ever series captained by Jason. Holder had an impressive bowling performance as he bagged 8 wickets in five matches with the nest figures of 4-53. Holder went through tough situations during his early captaincy as critics were all observing his leadership and the team was losing their grip over the victory. But, he had good support from the board who continued to boost him up and backed him to do well in the future. He then led his team to the quarter-finals of the World Cup 2015 where they lost to Newzealand.
RESPONSIBILITY UNDER THE BELT ONCE AGAIN
On Sep 4, 2015, Holder was handed over the captaincy from Dinesh Ramdin and since then, WI cricket team has changed its colors in terms of their performance. The WI Board hooked up with a seriously talented and young leader who has that thrive to get success in every campaign he features. Despite less win percentage (31%), he has encouraged test cricket as a supreme format in the country.
He has the best average (14.44) among the bowlers with more than 20 wickets. He also has the best economy (2.66). His batting doubts in the selector panel got cleared when he scored his maiden century to ensure a draw against England in April 2015. He has scored over 2000 runs in the tests with 8 fifties and 3 centuries including a double hundred with a batting average of 31.94 in just 43 matches.
His batting average hasn’t had been of high caliber, but the way he holds his nerve during the match shows all his talent. WI has lost a lot of matches under Holder’s captaincy, but the efforts are appraisable when the current condition of West Indian cricket is considered. He held the ships when senior players were having disputes with the board.
Holder, a broad-shouldered fast bowler from the Caribbean who looks down from 6 foot 7 inches, was bought for the first time in the IPL by the Chennai super kings in the year 2013. However, his performances in the IPL turned out below average as he has bagged just 5 wickets at an average of 61.20 with an economy of 8.50.
He has scored a total of 38 runs in the IPL He was picked up by the Sunrisers Hyderabad In the season 2014 and 2015. Again, he has been called up as a replacement for injured Mitchel Marsh in the ongoing Dream11 IPL2020. I wish him good luck for the success in the league.
As expected, he and the team have been performing well despite the win %. The team is united and the kind of efforts the players have put in under Jason is something to watch for. He has a dream of upgrading the status of the team in every format of the game. He has encouraged WI cricket board to stabilize domestic cricket. If the disputes that keep rising in between the board and the players will be solved, then for sure the West Indian cricket will prosper.
As the West Indies in the ’90s were a force to reckon with, this Bajan from Bim as calm as the Cattlewash beach will marshall his troops as a healer for generations of young WestIndian following cricket. The stage is set for WestIndies to backup their talents and save their well worth history of a victorious past.