The struggling West Indies are set to be without the services of their captain Jason Holder for the imminent tour of Bangladesh. A shoulder injury sustained during the recently concluded India tour has robbed the squad of the world’s third-ranked Test all-rounder.
And the tall Barbadian fast bowling all-rounder, who celebrated his 27th birthday on November 5, is expected to be out of action for at least four weeks.
This was confirmed today by Chief Executive Officer of Cricket West Indies (CWI) Johnny Grave.
“Jason has a partial thickness tear of his subscapularis tendon. He will undergo physiotherapy and strength work from the period November to December and will be reassessed in four weeks time,” Grave told BCAcricket.org from the CWI headquarters in Antigua.
“The medical panel was concerned that if Jason was to bowl in Bangladesh, the partial tear may become a full tear which may involve the need for surgery and/or a significant break from cricket.
“It was, therefore, then recommended for Jason not to travel to Bangladesh and instead undergo physiotherapy and rehab in Barbados,” Grave said.
West Indies will play two Tests, three ODIs and three Twenty20 Internationals in Bangladesh between November 22 and December 22 before hosting England for three Tests, five ODIs and three T20Is from January 23 to March 10.
Experienced Barbadian opening batsman Kraigg Brathwaite, who is the West Indies Test vice-captain and who like Holder plays locally for CounterPoint Wanderers, is expected to skipper the side for the Tests in Bangladesh.
Grave said it was hoped that Holder would return to full fitness for the tour by England.
“It is our hope that Jason will be fully fit to play against England,” he remarked.
Holder told BCAcricket.org that he was disappointed at missing the tour but reckoned the team should still be able to beat Bangladesh.
“I am definitely disappointed not being able to make the tour to Bangladesh, but based on the advice from the medical team, we felt this was the best course of action to deal with the ongoing issues I have been having with my shoulder and prevent further damage,” Holder said.
“I’ve been having issues with my shoulder since the World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe in March. Since then I have been trying to manage it and the pain levels but it has gotten to a point now where I’ve got to take time to correct it so that going forward I have no further issues.
“Obviously I am disappointed to miss the tour but I know the boys are capable of beating Bangladesh once again and we should be very competitive and have another series win under our belt,” Holder added.
On the two-match Test tour to India, an ankle injury forced Holder out of the first match in Rajkot, which West Indies lost by an innings and 272 runs inside three days.
He then scored 52 and 19 and took five for 56 off 23 overs as West Indies were beaten by ten wickets, again in three days, in Hyderabad.
Holder played in all five matches in the subsequent ODI series, which West Indies lost 3-1.
This year has been an outstanding one with the ball in Tests for Holder. He took four five-wicket hauls – the most by any bowler. All of them came in the last four Tests – three in successive innings.
He is also the first West Indies fast bowler since Courtney Walsh in 2000 to take four five-wicket hauls in a calendar year.
Holder is one of only seven captains to pick up four or more five-fors in a year and the first in last ten years.
His bowling average of 11.87 this year is the best for any fast bowler with a minimum of 30 wickets in a calendar year in the last 100 years. He has taken 33 wickets in six matches at that outstanding average. His average (during the calendar year) is the best for any bowler, pacer or spinner, in the last 50 years. The last time any bowler picked up 30 or more wickets at an average of under 15 was Shoaib Akhtar of Pakistan in 2003.
Holder has played 35 Tests, scoring 1554 runs including two centuries and eight half-centuries, at an average of 30.47, while taking 86 wickets including five five-fors and one ten-for, at 28.50 runs apiece.
In 85 ODIs, he has 1423 runs with seven fifties (ave: 26.84; his highest score is 99 not out) and 112 wickets (ave: 33.05; Econ: 5.47).
He has also played eight T20Is.
Holder was appointed West Indies Test captain in 2015 (September) after he was named in December 2014 to lead the ODI side for the first time on tour to South Africa the following month.