NELSON, New Zealand, CMC – Captain Jason Holder says West Indies have turned the page on the turbulent last four months and are hoping to use the ICC Cricket World Cup as their renaissance.
Caribbean cricket has been embroiled in chaos since last October when the one-day squad, of which Holder was a part, walked off the tour of India in protest over an unresolved contracts impasse.
However, the newly installed skipper believes the chaos was now behind them and that Sunday’s opening game against Ireland would be a turning point.
“Everything is done and dusted in my opinion. We’ve moved on from it … we’ve put it behind us and we’re ready to go [for Sunday’s game],” Holder told reporters.
The aborted tour was followed by a standoff between the players, the West Indies Cricket Board and players union, WIPA, which required the intervention of St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves.
One-day captain Dwayne Bravo, spokesman for the players on the India tour, and senior player Kieron Pollard, were then both controversially axed for the five-match one-day series in South Africa and the World Cup campaign.
The inexperienced 23-year-old Holder was named to replace Bravo, and oversaw his side’s 4-1 thrashing in the South Africa series.
Holder said he had taken the events of the last few months in stride and insisted it was crucial to the side’s World Cup chances that they also move on from the debacle.
“It’s not that hard in my opinion [to move on]. Obviously you go through tough times in cricket and it is important that you just move on from it,” Holder explained.
“You take what you can from it and then move on positively. In the sense that we’re starting a new campaign [in the World Cup] I think it is important that we all just put our minds on it and play some good cricket for West Indies.”
He was also quick to dispel the idea that the senior players in the side were not pulling their weight.
“The commitment from the senior guys has been there all the time,” Holder stressed.
“The guys have been very energetic and they’ve put in a lot of work behind the scenes. Obviously we didn’t get the results we wanted previously but we’re upbeat about [the start of the World Cup].
West Indies play Ireland at 11 am (6 pm Eastern Caribbean time) at Saxton Oval.
They have been installed in a tough Group B alongside the likes of reigning World champions India, South Africa, Pakistan, Zimbabwe and United Arab Emirates.