Holder among trio to decline CWI central contracts
ST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC) — Former West Indies Test Captain Jason Holder has raised doubt over his future in the longest format, after declining a central contract from Cricket West Indies (CWI) for the upcoming year.
The 32-year-old, who has played 64 Tests and 138 One-Day Internationals, was joined by Test left-hander Kyle Mayers and white-ball specialist Nicholas Pooran in opting out of the list of players awarded contracts for the period which began October 1.
In a vague statement, CWI said while the trio had “declined the offer of central contracts”, they had “confirmed their availability for all West Indies T20 Internationals during the contract year.”
The statement made no reference to the players making themselves available for West Indies Test or ODI assignments.
Holder, who led West Indies in 38 Tests and 86 ODIs, did not feature in the just concluded three-match one-day series against England, CWI saying that he was “prioritizing preparation for Test and T20I formats.”
Holder’s international form has waned in recent times, the right-hander averaging only 20 with the bat from eight Tests during the contract evaluation period while claiming 15 wickets at 40 runs apiece.
In ODIs, the Barbadian averaged 32 with the bat and 53 with the ball.
However, Holder remains West Indies’ marquee all-rounder, averaging 29 with both bat and ball overall.
“With a busy year of cricket ahead, in all three formats, we have held several detailed discussions with the two head coaches on the brand of cricket they want to play,” said chief selector Desmond Haynes.
“We are very clear in the direction we want to go. The players who have been offered contracts are among those who we expect to feature, as we look to build towards challenging for the top spot when we host and compete in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 on home soil.
“We also have away Test Series in Australia and England — these are two major assignments whilst in the 50-over format we look to build a nucleus of players aimed towards the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2027.”
On the women’s side, two players — all-rounders Zaida James and Sheneta Grimmond — have been awarded contracts for the first time.
James, 19, has played six ODIs and 10 T20 Internationals while Grimmond, 25, has featured in nine ODIs and 15 T20s.
“The selectors have identified a cadre of players who we believe can drive West Indies cricket forward,” said lead women’s selector, Ann Browne-John.
List of contracted players: Men – Alick Athanaze, Kraigg Brathwaite, Keacy Carty, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Joshua Da Silva, Shai Hope, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Brandon King, Gudakesh Motie, Rovman Powell, Kemar Roach, Jayden Seales, Romario Shepherd
Women – Aaliyah Alleyne, Shemaine Campbelle, Shamilia Connell, Afy Fletcher, Cherry-Ann Fraser, Shabika Gajnabi, Jannillea Glasgow, Sheneta Grimmond, Chinelle Henry, Zaida James, Mandy Mangru, Hayley Matthews, Karishma Ramharack, Stafanie Taylor, Rashada Williams.