Veteran cricket commentator Tony Cozier last night lauded the leadership of Jason Holder despite his apprehension when the youthful allrounder was made captain of the West Indies team.
Cozier’s comments came last night at the Wanderers Cricket Club which honoured three of its own. One-Day International captain Holder, one of the new stars of West Indies women’s team Hayley Matthews who left for the tour of Sri Lanka yesterday but was represented by her father Michael Mathews, and Barbadian-born Christopher Jordan who now plays for England, were rewarded for their outstanding accomplishments.
Cozier said he was very concerned when they made Holder captain of the West Indies ODI team at the age of 23, to lead the side against South Africa which is one of the most powerful cricketing teams in the world and then to captain the squad to the World Cup.
“I said it was unfair, a lot of things were going on. Bravo [Dwayne] and Pollard [Kieron] stepped out and for you to do what you did in South Africa and in the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand; we didn’t do well, we didn’t win but you stood out. Every report I saw of you leading the side and making such an impact on seasoned journalists [was] wonderful,” he said of Holder.
The three cricketers can now walk into the dressing room of Wanderers and see their pictures adorning the international gallery section where several photographs of former and present outstanding players including opener Kraigg Brathwaite and Kirk Edwards were also featured.
Holder told those present it was truly an honour and a privilege to be recognized by Wanderers Cricket Club which he had been a part of since his days at Charles F. Broome Primary.
“Braddie [Ian Bradshaw, former West Indies medium-fast bowler] has reminded me a lot of times that my batting is a key aspect to my cricket and he told me that I have to prove that to him in order to get in the Wanderers’ dressing room so after scoring that hundred I am sure he will allow me to wear the Wanderers colours this upcoming season.
He added: “I would really like to congratulate Chris and also Hayley on their achievements. Chris obviously passed through the club a few seasons ago and I have been to primary school with Chris. I can’t remember playing against him at Combermere but I always knew his talent. He was an exceptional cricketer back then and he is still is now and he has shown that over the last few years for England and of course Barbados. I haven’t really seen Hayley play much cricket but I have heard so many things about Hayley, all positives and I just really want to commend her on what she has achieved so far.”
Brathwaite was also there to share the special occasion with his friend Holder and the Wanderers family.