One of the West Indies’ biggest weapons heading into the ICC World Cup in England is undoubtedly their inspirational captain, Jason Holder.

Holder has led the team from the front with both bat and ball and in the field has inspired his teammates to achievements many in the region thought beyond them.

But now, with the World Cup a month away, Holder, and by extension, the West Indies may have a problem.

Playing in the London Royal Cup for Northhamptonshire last Wednesday, Holder struck 72, his third half-century in four innings, but was treated for an injury early in the knock.

Holder did not come out to field on account of the injury to his left leg and has since been replaced in the Northants line-up.

There has not been word on the seriousness of the injury just yet, but Holder is supposed to lead the West Indies in a Tri-nation series against Bangladesh and hosts Ireland from May 5-17.

On Friday, Holder’s Northants lost by 20 runs to Worcestershire without the all-rounder’s late-order batting.

The West Indies now have a nervous wait to see of their leader will shrug this one off.

Windies skipper Jason Holder’s preparation for the ICC World Cup in England at the end of May could be hitting high gear after the all-rounder took a liking to English conditions. 

Windies captain, Jason Holder, believes strongly that Jamaican fast bowlers Oshane Thomas and Shelton Cottrell will cause problems at the World Cup in England. 

Windies skipper Jason Holder sees no reason the team should not be capable of emulating the exploits of the legendary Clive Lloyd-led 70s squad, which claimed back-to-back World Cup titles.

Despite showing admirable qualities in recent months, the Holder-led Windies squad will not be among the favourites to lift the title when the tournament gets under way next month.

With the likes of talismanic batsman Chris Gayle in good form and several improving younger players, Holder believes the team could yet lift the title.  

“Our boys are probably not the finished product but we're definitely on the right path to becoming pretty good West Indian players. If we stick together for the next two or three years, the sky's the limit,” Holder told the Daily Mail.

 “And, being in England, this was the last place we lifted the World Cup. Who knows, maybe there's a script to be written there,” he added.

The regional team’s chances will not have been hurt by a strong showing against England in the Caribbean where they played to a 2-2 draw in the One Day International series, which came on the back of a surprise 2-1 Test series win.

Windies captain Jason Holder has insisted the team will take the positives from the recent tour of England, despite ending on a low note in a one-sided T20I series.

The regional team created unwanted history in the final match against the tourists after becoming the first team to be bowled out for less than 75 in successive Twenty20 Internationals.  It was an indicator of how the T20 series had gone overall, with an easy 3-0 win for England but not of the tour overall.

The Windies shocked a more fancied England with several dominant performances to win the Test series 2-1 and then put in another strong showing to draw the series 2-2.

 “We’re a bit disappointed but there are still a lot of positives,” Holder said.

“I definitely would have accepted these results when England started their tour. Winning the Test series was exceptional and parts of the ODI series were equally as good,” he added.

“We probably let ourselves down in other parts of the ODI series but England played some great cricket as well. And we were just outplayed in the T20 series. But we’ve seen Sheldon Cottrell come into the side and do well and Oshane Thomas, too. And Chris Gayle has been outstanding. So overall, I’m pretty pleased.”

Captain Eoin Morgan expressed his pride after England humiliated West Indies by 137 runs to seal a comprehensive Twenty20 series victory Friday.

England embarrassed the Windies, who were bowled out for just 45 – the second-lowest T20 international total – with 49 balls to spare at Warner Park in Basseterre.

Man-of-the-match Sam Billings and Joe Root had rescued England from 32-4 to set West Indies a target of 182-6 in the second T20.

Chris Jordan then took four wickets for just six runs from two overs to condemn the Windies to their lowest T20 total.

"Extremely proud," Morgan said. "We didn't get off to a great start, conditions were completely different to St Lucia but one huge positive today and probably our biggest improvement since then is we've adapted to conditions really well.

"I thought the partnership between Joe and Sam was outstanding, and then Sam kicked on to get us to an above par score. From there, we grabbed the momentum."

Billings produced a star performance after scoring 87 runs from just 47 deliveries – combining with Joe Root (55 off 40) to set the tone for England.

"It was a nice situation, in that I could give myself time and cash in at the end. I tried to play the field and put pressure on the bowlers as much as possible," Billings said. "We knew that with 165-plus we were in the game and luckily we got early wickets. It was a great win. We want to win the series 3-0 now. Cricket is a momentum game and we've got to keep putting in the performances."

England bowler Jordan added via Sky Sports: "It's definitely up there. I was glad I could come in and contribute to the team. We didn't get the best start but Sam and Rooty batted brilliantly to get us to what was an over-par score.

"My rhythm feels really good at the minute. I've done some good work with Shane Bond at Sydney Thunder then continuing it here with Chris Silverwood (England bowling coach). I tried to string together a few days and keep building confidence like that. I'm more than happy that it came off."

It was a forgettable night for the Windies and captain Jason Holder said: "I think it was just one of those games. It's been our worst batting performance of this three-format series so far. We need to regroup and look at a few areas and correct them."

West Indies have been dealt a blow ahead of the Cricket World Cup with Andre Russell not fit enough to feature in the Twenty20 international series against England. 

Windies skipper Jason Holder is again at odds with English cricket and the way it’s structure, which allows players to take lucrative deals under what is known as a Kolpak deal is achieved.

Kolpak deals come at the cost of a player’s international cricket career, with the most recent example being Duanne Olivier, a South African who earned his ODI debut last year.

Olivier shocked South Africa when he announced his retirement from International duty in favour of a three-year deal with Yorkshire.

The move prompted former South Africa batsman, Albie Morkel, who joined Surrey after ending his international career, to voice his hope that Cricket South Africa (CSA) does something to stop any possible ‘drain’ on the country’s major cricket resources, it’s talent.

"They [CSA] have to sit down and come up with plans because they're going to lose a lot of players in the near future and they need to protect against that.

"Do you structure the contracting a little bit better? What security do you give the guys [for] life after cricket? You talk about investing, but once a guy retires, they sort of drift away. I can name a number of players who they have invested a lot of money in, but you don't see them coaching, you don't see them involved with our academies.

"Give those guys a platform and say, 'We've invested in you for so many years, when you're thinking of settling down or moving on, this is where we see a role for you'.

"I think that communication is not great at the moment so that's something they can improve on.

"I was settled in the team so, for me, it was easier to put offers aside and focus on playing with South Africa.

"It's harder for those guys who are in and out of the team. If the communication channels aren't great and you're not sure where you fit in, that's where the biggest challenge comes in. Communication is the key in any business.

"It's never nice…it always paints a bad picture of cricket in South Africa. But that's unfortunately part of our DNA and the struggles we have in South Africa."

Oliver’s move came just two years after Kyle Abbott and Rilee Rossouw signed deals with Hampshire.

Holder has gone one step further than his South African counterpart, the Windies captain looking toward the International Cricket Council to protect other nations from the possibility of losing all their talent to the English game.

"It's really sad to see another quality player lost to Kolpak cricket," Holder said. "Until something is properly done to keep players a little bit more grounded financially I don't know how much longer you can continue putting up the front,” said Holder.

"People still want to see international cricket being at the forefront. I just think, going forward, we need to find a way to keep players playing for their country so we can have an attractive product,” said the Windies Captain, who oversaw a drawn ODI series against England on Saturday.

"Probably the ICC and FICA needs to get together and institute a substantial minimum salary so that players will feel comfortable coming home to represent their country,” he said.

"Test cricket is something that has picked up in the last year and a half. West Indies beating England; Sri Lanka beating South Africa: these are significant things. These can continue to spark Test cricket. There's so much prestige behind it and so much work behind it. I can only hope we can find some common ground where players are properly compensated and encouraged to play Test cricket as opposed to running off to domestic leagues.

"Personally I have had a few conversations with people at FICA. They are doing a hell of a job trying to get a level playing field for everyone and trying to have a fair standard for players and for leagues to be able to attract players. I don't want to speak of a figure at this time but I've had discussions with people at FICA and we are trying to find solutions to these problems.

"It's just ongoing discussions. I don't know if we'll find a middle ground as soon as we like. Hopefully in the not too distant future we can find common ground where players are playing for their countries and also have time to play in domestic leagues."

Windies Test and One Day International (ODI) captain Jason Holder is set to be named leader of the T20 squad, currently captained by Carlos Brathwaite, for the upcoming series against England.

The move is, however, expected to be a temporary one that is geared towards helping the team prepare for the ICC World Cup later this year. 

According to a recent Espncricinfo report, it is hoped that the keeping Holder in charge of a largely unchanged ODI squad for the three T20 internationals, will help with team chemistry ahead of the July tournament. 

Ahead of the tournament, the Windies will play against Ireland and Bangladesh in a Tri-nation series.  However, most the team’s top players could miss out on that tournament due to a scheduling conflict with the IPL and could make the match-up against England the last major challenge the team has before the tournament.  The report claims the selectors and Holder are already onboard with the changes, but it is yet to be approved by the board.  Brathwaite is expected to resume regular duties after the tournament.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) president Dave Cameron and Captain Jason Holder have expressed optimism about the WINDIES future as the side continues to demonstrate “the immense talent of West Indians.”

Windies skipper Jason Holder has hailed the impact of top opening batsman Chris Gayle who cracked 135 in a losing effort against England on Monday.

On a placid Kensington Oval pitch that suited the batsmen, the 39-year-old left-hander cracked an astounding 12 sixes and four 4s enroute to his 135 off 129 balls.  The effort was, however, somewhat in vain as England cruised to a six-wicket win on the back of centuries from Jason Roy (123) and Joe Root (102).  The result saw England move ahead 1-0 in the five-test One Day International series.

“Credit to our batters I thought we played exceptionally well on what was a really good pitch, one of the best I have seen at Kensington Oval for a while. I thought Chris played a really good innings. He took a bit of time upfront, got himself set and then put pressure back on the spinners in the middle and forced Eoin Morgan to bring back the seamers back a bit earlier. I felt he held the innings together and gave other batters a chance to express themselves,” Holder said.

“England played well to chase down our target. We’re now 1-0 down so we know we have to bounce back on Friday and look to make it 1-1 before we head off to Grenada.”

The teams will play the second ODI at the same venue tomorrow.

Legendary West Indies captain Clive Lloyd has backed the regional team to spring a few surprises at this summer’s ICC Cricket World Cup. 

The Windies only just secured a spot in the final, having qualified from the ICC World Cup qualifiers last year.  Since then, however, the team has shown signs of improvement under the leadership of current skipper Jason Holder.

Lloyd, who won the tournament as the captain in 1974 and ’78, is confident the team has the ability but is yet to find a level of consistency.

 “I think they can be the surprise package,” Lloyd said of the team’s chances.

“The West Indies had a very good one day side four years running but you can never get the same guys playing.  They go off to the IPL or somewhere else. But when you have them they gel together,” he added.

“They were quite a formidable side. If they have the right combination here they will be a force to be reckoned with in this competition.”

The Windies will play their first match of the tournament against Pakistan on May 31st.  The top four teams from the group will progress to the knockout stage

 

Windies skipper Jason Holder claims the unit is pleased to once again don the underdogs' tag ahead of the One Day International (ODI) series against England, which bowls off on Wednesday.

Heading into the series as the world’s number-one ranked team, England will once again be heavy favourites, with the regional side ranked some eight places below them. 

With the situation very similar to the one they faced in the Test series, where the Windies dominated to win 2-1.  Holder, who was suspended for the only the third and only Test the team lost, is hoping to return and make an immediate impact.

“We're pretty confident, we have momentum from the Test series and good experience in the dressing room,” Holder said.

“We pack a pretty heavy punch when we're stacking up our team. 'Underdogs' is not a bad tag to have - it's more pressure on them and less pressure on us,” he added.

“It was tough watching the Test in St Lucia but I'm very hungry to get back on the park and looking forward to the challenge of carrying the team forward.”

The Windies will face an even tougher test than the Test series with both pacers Shannon Gabriel and Kemar Roach out of action.  Keemo Paul, Evin Lewis and Rovman Powell are also ruled out.

Winning the third Test and avoiding a whitewash against West Indies represented a "step forward" for England, according to captain Joe Root.

England were comfortably beaten by 381 runs in the first match of the series before a hapless display in Antigua saw the tourists go down by 10 wickets.

In St Lucia, a 125-run first-innings stand from Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes was followed by a stunning five-for from Mark Wood, before Root's century set the Windies a hefty target of 485 for a whitewash.

Roston Chase made a gritty hundred to keep their hopes alive, but he received minimal support as the hosts went down by 232 runs on Tuesday.

"It was important we played well this week. It should be a real confidence-booster going into an exciting summer for us," said Root.

"West Indies deserved to win the series, they outplayed us in the first two games, but it's a real step forward for this team to perform like we did this week.

"I thought we played some good cricket. In that first innings we managed to find a way to ride out some difficult moments in bowler-friendly conditions and then we got up to a good score. Then the bowlers got us on top and we went from there.

"We played better, that's important, we've got a fantastic squad, but over the next couple of years you'll see a huge amount of improvement."

Windies captain Jason Holder was suspended for the final match and had no doubt that, despite claiming a 2-1 series victory, the team can get better.

"It was disappointing the way we played in the last Test but there are still a few positives to write home about. Credit to the boys - although we lost this match we played a pretty good series. We still have a lot of improvements to make but lots of positive coming out of the series," said Holder.

"We have to keep improving in all three facets of the game - we've got to be clinical and be a lot more consistent than we have been in the past.

"Credit to our bowling unit, I think our bowlers have been outstanding and we just need our batters to come to the party more often than not.

"[The win is] important in a few contexts. It counts in the ICC rankings, counts for the morale of the side as well.

"We need to continue to build and improve as a side, not just rest on our laurels and think we've achieved something. We're still pretty low in the rankings and our goal is to be number one in the world, so there's definitely a lot to improve on and put right and a lot of positives we need to keep within in the team."

Kraigg Brathwaite will be happy to seek the advice of suspended captain Jason Holder when he leads West Indies against England in the third and final Test.

Holder was banned for one game due to a slow over rate during the 10-wicket success in the second Test in Antigua - a result which secured the Windies' series victory.

Brathwaite is the man to step up in the skipper's absence but the opening batsman expects Holder to remain an influential presence within the home dressing room in St Lucia.

"Of course, he's the leader of the group. His voice will be crucial for us," Brathwaite told reporters ahead of the Test starting on Saturday.

"He'll still be there, we are a family and we'll support each and every one. It'll be the same, obviously I'm captain for this game but he'll be around."

And Brathwaite is all too aware that the Windies can ill-afford to be slow in bowling their overs.

"We have to do that, we can't keep being behind and losing our captain so it's something we have a plan for and we can't let it happen again.

"I wouldn't say it's [just] Shan [fast bowler Shannon Gabriel], as a team all the fielders can get around faster, we have to improve on it."

Asked what sort of statement a 3-0 scoreline would send around the world, Brathwaite replied: "[That] West Indies cricket is strong.

"We're aiming for consistency. We won the series and we're aiming to win the third [Test], we need to be consistent - that's one of the main things for us."

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