Barbados Cricket Association President Conde Riley has come out in defence of Barbados and West Indies captain Jason Holder whose leadership style was recently criticised by legendary fast bowler Sir Andy Roberts.
Riley told Barbados TODAY that Holder had done well as a captain particularly for Barbados. Roberts’ comments came as no surprise to Riley who noted that when West Indies fail to perform, it was expected that the hammer would come down on the captain which happened to be Holder.
“Jason is the Barbados captain and so far he has captained us very well. Very recently when we reclaimed the Wisden Trophy he did a fantastic job both as a player and captain.
“But these things happen and when you are not winning, people see all types of things. In 2019 Jason captained the West Indies to reclaim the Wisden Trophy and he was being hailed as a good captain. When things aren’t going well he would be the person under scrutiny. But we think very highly of him at the BCA and he has done us well,” Riley told Barbados TODAY.
In a CMC report carried yesterday, Roberts described the all-rounder as a “damn good cricketer” but said he was “lost” as a captain.
The former West Indies pacer was quoted as saying, “I would like to know how do we judge a captain.”
“Do we judge him by his win-loss record or do we judge him by his performance on the field or do we judge him on how well he interviews?
“I think Jason Holder as a captain on the field is lost. I don’t think he is aware of what is going on, on the field, because if I win a toss as a captain and before lunch on a green-top pitch I am having a man on the point boundary, then I am lost.”
He added: “That’s the first thing. His field placing [leaves] a lot to be desired, and I believe the time should come where he takes instructions from the coaches who can see the game better than he can.”
Roberts also took a swing at all-rounder Holder for opting out of the Bangladesh tour.
But Riley also hit back at critics like Roberts. “I think it was a personal decision made by these guys. A guy has to make these decisions based on how he feels about his personal health and safety. A lot of the guys have been on the road for a long time.
“When I read about some of the comments that some of them were made with regards to mental and physical fatigue, the strain from the bubble and so on, I deemed it to be very personal, so I haven’t gotten too involved in it.”
He added: “It is up to each one of them to make the decision. They have to know how they feel and how their family feels.”
The BCA president was however pleased that the withdrawal of senior players from the tour gave young players like Keon Harding and others the opportunity to show their worth.
“This gives some younger guys an opportunity. I wish them well and this should broaden their horizons with playing and travelling,” he explained.
Riley was also happy with the selection of West Indies opener Kraigg Brathwaite to lead the Caribbean side in the absence of Jason Holder.
Brathwaite led Barbados to the regional championship for the first time in a long while. He also captained Barbados in 2014 when they won the cup and therefore Riley expressed confidence in Brathwaite’s ability to lead the regional side
Focusing his attention at home, Riley is looking forward to a good performance from a strong Barbados team selected to compete in the Super50 tournament. That competition is scheduled to take place in Antigua.