West Indies captain Jason Holder banned for final Test against England for slow over-rate

The West Indies sealed an unassailable 2-0 series lead, but will be without their captain for the third Test

Rory Dollard
Sunday 03 February 2019 18:20
West Indies annihilate England to tie up 10-wicket victory with a game to spare

West Indies captain Jason Holder has been banned for the final Test against England due to his side's slow over-rate.

Holder has led the side brilliantly in the last two matches, sealing an unassailable 2-0 lead to secure the Wisden Trophy, but will not be around to finish the job in St Lucia next week.

The International Cricket Council has imposed the suspension after the Windies failed to keep up with the required rate during their 10-wicket win in Antigua. The fact they wrapped up victory inside three days does not count in mitigation.

Holder has previously been penalised in the same way, forced to sit out a Test against New Zealand in December 2017 after two over-rate breaches in a 12-month period.

There is no like-for-like replacement for Holder - reliable seam bowlers who score unbeaten double centuries, as he did in the first Test, do not grow on trees - but Kraigg Brathwaite should take the captaincy reins.

With the series won, the Windies could take the opportunity to hand his place in the side to Jamaican tyro Oshane Thomas. The strapping 21-year-old has played just eight first-class matches, but has been with the squad for the past two matches and has impressed attack leader Kemar Roach with his speed.

"Oshane is a very talented cricketer, a young guy with raw pace," Roach said.

"He's come in and learned a lot, worked hard on his fitness as well. I think he has a great future with the West Indies. It's up to the selection panel if he plays, but it is good for him to be part of this squad, to gain some more confidence and move forward."

Roach has been the scourge of England's batsman in the Caribbean, taking 13 wickets at 12.07.

Jason Holder was the toast of the West Indies for guiding them to a series win against England 

One of just two 30-year-olds in a young and fast-improving squad, the Barbadian feels both he and the team are making up for lost time on the Test stage.

"It's time. But I thought it was time five years ago. We're late in that regard," he said.

"But it's never too late in cricket, I think once you put it together, gel as a team and work hard for each other then it will come. Test performances will come and you'll get more series like this one.

"It has definitely been one of the best series of my career, I'm extremely proud of myself and of the team. It's a great feeling.

"This rivalry goes way, way back, between us and England and to win in front of your home fans is amazing."

Roach should probably have played more than the 52 Tests he has managed over the past decade, though his 179 wickets are still enough to place him in the West Indies' all-time top 10.

Injuries and dips in form have set him back at various intervals and also seen him replace some of the express speed of his younger days with greater control. Asked what his younger self would make of his status today, Roach added: "The 20-year-old Kemar Roach would be jealous I guess.

"I've matured now and I'm an experienced campaigner. It's about time to put the numbers on, it's no time to just be turning up, being here and there. I've been working hard on my fitness and skills. It's paying off."


Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments