More ODIs needed for WI to develop, says Holder
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC):
West Indies captain, Jason Holder, says the regional side needs to play more one-day international (ODI) cricket if they are to make any serious strides up the international rankings.
Eighth-ranked West Indies entered the just concluded Tri-Nations Series against World champions Australia and number three-ranked South Africa as underdogs, but managed to qualify for the final – gaining six points to close the gap on seventh placed Bangladesh.
Outside of last year’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, West Indies played eight ODIs and Holder said this volume needed to increase.
“If you look back on our calendar year last year, we didn’t have that much one-day cricket at all. I just think we need more cricket,” the all-rounder said.
“There’s no secret about it, the way the ICC structure their cricket now, you have to qualify to enter ICC events and it’s just important we get as much cricket as possible, particularly one-day cricket, to keep ourselves moving up the rankings.
“There’s no point us playing a series here and then we don’t play a series for another few months, whereas other teams get opportunities to play games and move ahead of us.”
West Indies’ poor ranking caused them to miss out on next year’s Champions Trophy for the first time in the tournament’s history. At the September 30 cut-off date last year, they were ninth in the rankings, with only the top eight qualifying.
Subsequently, they toured Sri Lanka for three ODIs last November, suffering a clean sweep in that series.
Holder, who took over the helm of the side last September, said the gains made in the Tri-Nations Series needed to be built on for the remainder of the year.
“For instance, if we make strides here (Tri-Nations Series) now, it is important that we have a series to back this up in order to keep moving up (the rankings),” the 24-year-old pointed out.
“At this stage it is beyond my control, I just hope going forward we get some more games. If you look at the remainder of the year, we’ve got three games in UAE and we’ve got another Tri-Nations Series pending at the end of the year, so hopefully that comes off and we have some cricket.”
Holder also called for the current core of players to be kept together in order to build a competitive unit.
“We’ve been criticised in the past for being stuck at number seven and number eight and it’s just important now that we keep making strides forward,” he said.
“All I can urge is that the guys stay together. If we can keep this core group of players together and maybe make one or two additions as we go abroad on tours (it would be good).
“I think it is important for West Indies cricket that we keep a core group of guys together and move forward with these guys, identify who we want to take forward and hopefully we get the backing from everybody around us and keep these guys together.”