PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – Cricket West Indies have sacked both Jason Holder and Carlos Brathwaite as One-Day and Twenty20 captain respectively, and have appointed experienced batting all-rounder Kieron Pollard to lead the Caribbean side in the white-ball formats.
In a media conference in Trinidad today, CWI said they had accepted the recommendation of the selection task force headed by its vice-president Dr Kishore Shallow and including director of cricket, Jimmy Adams, to implement specific red-ball and white-ball captains, and had subsequently ratified the choice of the 32-year-old Pollard.
“Kieron Pollard, with immediate effect, has agreed to take up the position of captain of both our T20 and ODI white-ball teams,” CWI president, Ricky Skerritt told the media.
“This appointment directly results from the recommended restructuring in leadership by the same task force in its quest to produce better selection and performance results.
“I want to publicly congratulate Mr Pollard on his appointment and to thank the task force for the excellent work they have achieved and for the very important transformational recommendation they have made in Mr Pollard’s appointment.”
Skerritt said the board was following the “best possible practices for best possible outcomes”. He revealed that he had personally called Holder and spoken to him yesterday about the changes.
“Jason Holder was called by me yesterday morning and we spoke. He’s a very important force and is still going to be our red-ball captain. Holder will now compete for a place in Pollard’s team and use this as an opportunity to become a better cricketer. Pollard is the right man at the right time to take our white-ball teams forward,” Skerritt said.
Largely a T20 specialist, Pollard has not played a single One-Day International in the last three years, his last appearance coming on the ill-fated series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates when West Indies suffered a humiliating whitewash.
His record has also been unflattering, averaging 25 with the bat from 101 ODIs with three hundreds, and taking 50 wickets with his slow medium at nearly 40 runs apiece.
In T20s, the Trinidadian has played 62 matches with a batting average of 21 with three fifties. His 58 against India last month was his first half-century in seven years.
However, he brings massive leadership experience in the shortest format – though not successful – having led Barbados Tridents in the Caribbean Premier League for five years and then also taking over at St Lucia Stars last season. However, he led the St Lucia franchise to second last place last year and the Barbados Tridents to similar positions in 2016 and 2017.
This year, he is leading his native Trinbago Knight Riders in the absence of regular skipper Dwayne Bravo who has been ruled out of the tournament with injury.
“I’m truly honoured to be appointed captain of the West Indies and I would like to thank Cricket West Indies’ Board of Directors for placing their faith and confidence in me,” Pollard said.
“I can’t wait to work with the coaching staff and players as we start building towards future World Cups and give the fans more reasons to get behind the team.”
Both Holder and Brathwaite enjoyed modest success in their roles, leaving Pollard with teams ranked ninth in both formats, only above the likes of minnows Afghanistan and Nepal.
The 27-year-old Holder, appointed ODI captain in December 2014 after just a handful of international games, won just 24 of his 86 games in charge. Instructively, West Indies never won a series under the world-rated Barbadian all-rounder.
The Windies suffered an abysmal World Cup campaign in England earlier this year when they managed just two wins in 10 matches – in their opener against Pakistan and in their finale against Afghanistan – to finish ninth of 10 teams and produce their worst ever performance at the showpiece.
Brathwaite, meanwhile, fared little better after taking over from two-time T20 World Cup-winning skipper, Darren Sammy, in August, 2016, just five months after the Caribbean side’s capture of the T20 World Cup in India.
The Windies won just 11 of 28 matches and three of 11 multi-match series under Brathwaite, and have lost 12 of their last 15 T20 Internationals.
Adams said the shifting of the captaincy was an opportunity for both Holder and Brathwaite to further develop their own game.
“I would like to place on record the significant contributions and leadership that both Jason Holder and Carlos Brathwaite have provided the West Indies ‘white ball’ teams,” said the former Windies Test captain.
“And we look forward to both players focusing on their own games and enjoy the freedom of playing with the reduced responsibility.”
Holder, however, will remain in charge of the Test side.