Former West Indies captain Brian Lara is impressed with what he has seen of new West Indies captain Jason Holder, and is calling for the West Indies Cricket Board to give the young Barbadian its full support, which could lead him to being in charge of the team for all three formats of the game.
Speaking from Australia where he is currently doing analysis of the World Cup, Lara said he was impressed with the potential of the young all-rounder, and he was confident Holder would develop into a good leader if he was given the backing of the Board.
“I am a Jason Holder fan. I like his approach to leadership and the way he has gone about his game. I can see him developing into the kind of leader who will give years of service to West Indies cricket, given the right kind of support.”
Lara said Holder’s sensible batting against both South Africa and India where he scored half centuries in both innings, put several of his more illustrious teammates in the shade, and demonstrated a maturity that belied his age.
“Several of the so-called senior men on the team should hold their heads in shame after watching how sensibly he batted. They should take example from him.”
Lara noted that Holder showed a lot of character when he was hammered by South Africa captain A.B. de Villiers for 66 runs in his last two overs against the Proteas.
“He returned against India and showed no effects of that attack on his bowling. This is a young man, playing in his first World Cup, given the responsibility of leadership against all odds, and being blasted by A.B. de Villiers, the number one batsman in the world. Instead of buckling under pressure, he turns up against India and plays with the calmness of heads in a sensible and matured way.”
Lara said he was also impressed with the way Holder has responded to reporters and other media personnel when interviewed. “He has a good head on his shoulders and the way he responds indicates that he is a student of the game.”
He felt that Holder was still learning. “But from all indications, he is a quick learner, and I am sure he will get it right soon.”
Lara said that the future of West Indies cricket was in the hands of a new generation of cricketers. “We have to start preparing them now and the way I see it, we have a young man with the qualities that can revive our game.”
He referred to South Africa’s cricket under Graeme Smith. “South Africa showed tremendous faith in Smith, who was given the captaincy at 22 years. They put him in charge of several top class players like Shaun Pollock, Jacques Kallis and Herschelle Gibbs. But they made sure and supported him, and he took his country to the top of the ladder. I believe that Jason can do this, if given the right conditions.”
Lara said he was hoping that Holder would lead the West Indies into the quarter finals, as this would boost his confidence.
“A quarter final spot would be a good thing to have under his belt. And if West Indies gets there, who knows what can happen.”