Holder joins illustrious company at top of all-rounders rankings

Captain Jason Holder celebrates during his unbeaten double hundred at Kensington Oval in the opening Test against England.

LONDON, CMC – Captain Jason Holder yesterday became the first West Indies all-rounder since the iconic Sir Garry Sobers nearly half a century ago, to top the ICC all-rounders rankings.

The 27-year-old, third on the charts behind Bangladesh’s Shakib-al-Hasan and India’s Ravindra Jadeja at the start of the game, stormed to the top position following his monumental unbeaten double hundred against England in the opening Test at Kensington Oval on Friday.

Sir Garry, considered the finest all-rounder ever, was the last West Indies player to top the all-rounders rankings in 1974.

West Indies crushed England by 381 runs in the final session on Saturday’s fourth day, to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

Holder struck a magnificent unbeaten 202 from 229 balls in a record seventh wicket stand of 295 with Shane Dowrich, who hit 116 not out. That effort saw Holder jump 25 spots in the batting rankings to a career-best 33rd while remaining 10th in the bowlers’ rankings.

The double hundred was Holder’s third triple figure score in Tests following landmarks against England four years ago in Antigua and against Zimbabwe two years ago.

Holder’s performance was even more remarkable considering he missed the tour of Bangladesh last December with a shoulder injury, and only returned to action last month with a single four day game for his native Barbados Pride.

“It was a really good match for me personally. To come back the way I’ve come back I’m really pleased,” Holder said following Saturday’s win.

“I have put in a lot of hard work over the last couple of months trying to get myself back to full fitness. I’ve had a lot of emotion bottled up for a long time.”

Several other Windies players also enjoyed upward movement in the latest rankings. Dowrich climbed 14 places to 47th in the batting rankings while 22-year-old Shimron Hetmyer, who scored 81 and 31 in the Barbados Test, jumped 11 places to 40th. Shai Hope, with a half-century in the first innings, inched up two places to 52nd.

In the bowling rankings, part-time off-spinner Roston Chase shot up 14 spots to 41st following his superb record eight-wicket haul in the second innings which sent England tumbling for 246.

Seamer Kemar Roach, meanwhile, who snared five wickets in the first innings to bundle England out for 77, moved five places to 20th.

West Indies face England in the second Test in Antigua starting Thursday.

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