Players give skipper Holder thumbs up

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Skipper Jason Holder has come in for praise from his players for the professional way in which he has handled himself and the team.

The 27-year-old has led the Caribbean side in 28 of his 36 Tests and, while success on the field has been limited, he has repeatedly gained plaudits for the integrity he has displayed on and off the field, and the work ethic he has created.

“We just had to compliment him [yesterday] in our team meeting,” team manager Rawl Lewis said.

“All the boys recognise his professional approach and that he’s a talent as a cricketer so we’re very happy for him because he works very, very hard.”
Holder was first appointed one-day captain ahead of the 2015 Cricket World Cup and took over as Test captain just months later.

He is yet to preside over a Test series win over a team ranked higher than the Windies, but his personal performances have laid down the gauntlet with his players.

Last year in Tests he was one of the leading bowlers in the world with 33 wickets, bursting into the top 10 in the ICC bowling rankings. Earlier this week he became the world’s number one all-rounder.

“Jason is a special individual. To be in his company is extremely good. He’s so warm-hearted and a true professional,” Lewis continued.

“What you see from Jason, whether we perform well or not, is that he is very consistent in the way he does his duties. It’s not easy to face the media sometimes when you don’t perform too well on the field and Jason always gives a good account of himself whether we win or lose.”

Last week, in Bridgetown, he smashed a monumental maiden double hundred – an unbeaten 202 off 229 balls as West Indies crushed England in the opening Test by 381 runs.

The landmark was his third triple figure score, cementing his place as a genuine all-rounder, and Lewis hailed the Barbadian as the ultimate match-winner.

“He’s a special player. He’s someone who can win the game for you with bat or ball,” the former Test leg-spinner said.

“[Yesterday] we had a team meeting and we split the group in two and I asked him ‘which side are you going on?’ and he went with the bowlers. He could have gone anywhere.” (CMC)

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