Jason Holder signs up with Worcestershire for first five matches of County Championship

New Delhi: West Indies fast-bowling all-rounder Jason Holder has signed up with Worcestershire for the first five matches of the upcoming County Championship season. Holder, a former No.1 all-rounder in the ICC Test rankings, will be available from Worcestershire’s opening County Championship fixture against Warwickshire at Edgbaston beginning on April 5.

Holder, 32, is a recipient of the Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 2021 and is also available for the home fixtures with Durham and Somerset at Kidderminster and the away games with Nottinghamshire and Kent.

He is the latest in a group of distinguished West Indian cricketers to play for Worcestershire including Vanburn Holder, Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Shannon Gabriel and Kemar Roach. Holder has produced many memorable performances including a double century in 2019 against England at the Kensington Oval in Barbados. “I always enjoy my time in England and I’m looking forward to helping Worcestershire get off to a good start to life in Division One of the County Championship. I know Worcestershire have had strong links with the West Indies in terms of players playing for them over many years and I hope I can make my mark over the five games.”

“When you get promoted, if you can make a decent start, it gives you that confidence and belief to build upon for the rest of the season. You speak to people on the circuit, and they said Worcestershire have a tight-knit but friendly dressing room and I’m looking forward to playing my part on and off the field,” said Holder in a statement.

The all-rounder has captained his country in more than 100 internationals across all formats and became only the second West Indian player after the great Sir Garfield Sobers to score 2,500 runs and take 150 wickets in Test cricket. He didn’t play West Indies’ Tests against Australia earlier this year as he was playing ILT20 in the UAE, after turning down a central contract. West Indies are scheduled to be in England for three Tests in July, shortly after playing Men’s T20 World Cup at home from June 1-29.

Holder has also made his mark in white-ball cricket to great effect, becoming the fastest player in ODIs to take 100 wickets and score 1,000 runs for the West Indies. His only previous stint in County Cricket was with Northamptonshire in 2019 when he played two Championship and five One-Day Cup games.

Holder will become Worcestershire’s second overseas player available to play County Championship cricket after New Zealand bowler Nathan Smith, who finished as the leading wicket-taker, in the Plunket Shield. “I’m absolutely delighted. When someone of Jason’s experience and quality becomes available, even for a short window, we just have to jump at it. We know on the field as a cricketer he is a world-class all-rounder but off the field a world-class individual as well.”

“We are also aware that starting the season well is going to be important for us and having him in our line-up can only help that. Just having someone of his quality when you take to the field gives you a big lift.”

“You are back in Division One, you know it’s going to be tough, and you can only be better if you’ve got Jason Holder in that line-up. He has a big presence,” said Worcestershire CEO, Ashley Giles.


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