Jason Holder – the master of swing and seam

By Zaheer E. Clarke

Published July 13, 2020  in the Western Mirror

Jason Holder has proven you don’t need express speed to be a formidable pace bowler in Test cricket.

Jason Holder © AFP

Former English batsman and Captain Mike Atherton once remarked, “Quality (pace) bowlers essentially need two of three things: pace, movement and accuracy.” 

Typically, when the average cricket fan or enthusiast contemplates pace bowling in cricket, the first inclination as the description suggests is to be captivated with the speed at which the ball leaves the bowlers hand. Similarly, in baseball, the average velocity of the ball, as it travels from the pitcher’s hand to the catcher’s mitt, enthralls baseball fanatics unlike anything else. 

Nonetheless, batsmen in cricket and even batters in baseball will inform you that the most comfortable ball to strike for a boundary or a home run is one that is fast and straight. Unreservedly, batsmen and batters will tell you that Glenn McGrath and Mariano Rivera were two of the most feared players in cricket and baseball respectively. Did they instill terror and commanded reverence for the extreme velocity with which they bowled or pitched the ball? No! How they got the ball to move and how accurate and consistent they were with the ball is what bemused and bewildered several batsmen and batters on the field and even in their nightmares. 

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Jason Holder – “We just got to put runs on the board”

By Zaheer E. Clarke
Published 08 July 2020

Captain Jason Holder believes that West Indies’ batsmen have to perform well and give the bowlers reasonable targets to work with if West Indies is going to be successful on the English tour.

Holder believes that if West Indies puts runs on the board, they will be successful in England.
Source: Sky Sports

In a press conference a day before the start of the first Test in England, Holder emphasised the fact that the team collectively has to put runs on the board if the team has any hopes of defeating England.

He further insisted that it does not matter if the runs come from the top-order or the lower-order batsmen. For him, the important thing is that sufficient runs are scored, and he is confident that members of the team will deliver.

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Simmons – “The bowling is going to click”

By Zaheer E. Clarke
Published 07 July 2020

West Indies coach Phil Simmons has no concern about the general form of the West Indian bowlers on overseas tours or the form of the batsmen on the tour of England.

West Indies coach Phil Simmons (File Photo | AFP)

West Indies head coach Phil Simmons is confident that the West Indies bowling and batting units will perform well when the Test series between West Indies and England commence behind closed doors at the Rose Bowl, in Southampton, England this Wednesday, July 8.

Responding to questions at a press conference yesterday, Simmons indicated that the disparity in the performance of the bowling unit at home compared to on overseas tours is not a concern for the management staff.

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How good is Jason Holder, and how great can he be?

By Zaheer E. Clarke
Published on 16 September 2019 in the Western Mirror

Jason Holder is the number one ranked Test all-rounder in the world and the number one ranked bowler and batsman for the West Indies in Test cricket. How do his stats compare with the other great all-rounders in Test cricket?

All-rounders in cricket have often been overlooked for their specialist counterparts. However, several players classified as all-rounders are specialists in their own right. They just have an additional gift.
(Source: Scroll.In)


When the marvellous Test cricket all-rounders of all-time are being discussed, several names chandelle to the acme of the discourse. For instance, names such as Keith Miller, Garfield Sobers, Imran Khan, Jacques Kallis, Shaun Pollock and Trevor Goddard readily find the lips of true cricket aficionados. For several individuals, Sobers is the crème de la crème of the lot. In one breath, he is one of the greatest batsmen of all-time to wield a willow. While in another breath, he was one of the most versatile bowlers ever to lace up the boots.

Frankly, real all-rounders do one of two things exceptionally well. They either bat exceedingly well or bowl prodigiously well while carrying out the other function at an acceptable or an above-adequate level. As such, several all-rounders have been further categorised as either batting all-rounders or bowling all-rounders, to indicate what facet of the game they most excel in. Continue reading

Ricky Skerritt was dead wrong

By Zaheer E. Clarke

Published on 9 September 2019 in the Western Mirror

Ricky Skerritt’s firing of Richard Pybus and the hiring of Floyd Reifer as the interim head coach was a mistake. West Indies has struggled to win games since. 

Skerritt has pledged to direct the board’s focus towards grassroots cricket and has called on the region’s stakeholders to follow suit for the greater good of the game.
(Photo credit: Getty Images)

Newly elected President of Cricket West Indies (CWI), Ricky Skerritt promised after taking office that his administration would work for the improvement of West Indies cricket both on and off the field. Skerritt, who terminated Dave Cameron’s controversial six-year reign as CWI President, assumed the reins of the CWI on 24 March 2019 after trouncing the incumbent by a margin of 8-4 in the presidential elections.

Among Skerritt’s supporters leading up to the election were West Indian legends such as Viv Richards, Andy Roberts and Clive Lloyd. Lloyd, a former chairman of selectors under the Cameron-led administration, admitted that he was “deliriously happy” with Skerritt’s election victory. Interestingly, 150 days after Skerritt’s feted victory, some of his legendary supporters are having second thoughts. Continue reading