A dream come true is how Chemar Holder described his inclusion in the West Indies
squad for the three match Test against England. The young fast bowler was selected
after bowling with pace and hostility during the 2020 West Indies Championship,
Holder captured 36 wickets at an average of 18,91 for Barbados Pride before the
Championship ended in the eighth round due the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus
Holder did not take a wicket in the first match of the Season against the Windward
Islands Volcanoes bowling overs 20 overs for 50 runs on spin friendly pitch at the
Arnos Vale Cricket Ground in St Vincent. He rebounded in the second match with
an explosive spell of bowling against the 2019 champions the Guyana Jaguars in the
second innings against the Pride at Kensington Oval.
The young pacer give the Jaguars’ batsmen a torrid time in a fiery spell on the third day of the match, he struck Raymond Refier on his helmet with a bouncer that forced him to go through concussion drill for six minutes, while
Anthony Bramble, Leon Johnson and Vishaul Singh were struck on various parts of their body by thunderbolt deliveries.
In the third-round match against Jamaica Scorpions, he took five wickets for 45 runs in the first innings and dismantled the Jamaicans in their second innings with a career best six for 47, to record match figures of 11 wickets for 92 runs his best in first-class cricket. He stressed that a major part of his success in 2020 was due to intense training before the start of the season.
“ I trained long and hard before the season started and pushed myself to the limit while I trained for long periods, during practice, I concentrated on bowling the right line and length, I am extremely happy that my hard work has
paid off “, Holder said.
Holder was born on March 3, 1998,
in Rock Gap, St Michael, his father
Mark Crichlow favorite sport was an
avid football fan with little interest in
cricket, even though he was a classmate
of the late great Malcolm Marshall at
the Parkinson Memorial School, but
his mother Cheryl Holder is an ardent
follower of game.
Two of her brothers Wayne and Ian
played First Division Cricket, and one
of her relatives Dwayne Smith, scored
a Test century for the West Indies on
his debut against South Africa at Cape
Town in 2004. Wayne is also a cricket commentator and a free-lance sports journalist for a
According to Holder, as a result of being raised in a
household where cricket was the game of choice for
several members of his family, he wanted to represent
the West Indies from an early age.
“ I wanted to play for the West Indies from the time I
was a boy, several members of my family played cricket,
and those who did not play the game were passionate
supporters of it. My uncle Wayne used to take me with
him to watch first-class matches at Kensington Oval
when I was child. If Wayne was not
available to take me to the Oval, I
went with some other member of my
family. Each time I went to the Oval,
my love for the game grew along with
my desire to play for the West Indies.
My inclusion in the squad is a dream
come true”, Holder said.
Holder first came to the public attention
at the 2016 International Cricket
Council (ICC) Under 19 World Cup
in Bangladesh. He picked up a mere
three wickets in four 50 overs games
for Barbados in the regional Under 19
Youth Tournament the previous year,
and was not selected in the original
West Indies’ squad for World Cup.
While the World Cup was being played
in Bangladesh, the Regional Super50
Cup was held in Antigua, Holder
made an impressive List A debut for
the Combined Campuses and Colleges
against the Windward Islands with a
match winning performance of five
wickets for 22 runs.
As a result of his outstanding Man
of Match performance against the
Windward, when Obed McCoy
sustained a laceration of the webbing
between his thumb and first finger on
his left-hand Holder was chosen to
Holder, who was 17 at that time
arrived in Bangladesh a day before the West Indies was
due to play in the quarter final against Pakistan, he was
selected in the final 11 for the game. He shared the new
ball with Alzarri Joseph who was already a first-class
player, despite his long journey from the Caribbean to
the sub Asian continent, Holder bowled an impressive
spell of seven overs, two maidens, and dismissed two
batsmen for 27 runs, the West Indies won the match by
His outstanding performance continued in the semifinal
against Bangladesh, the West Indies defeated their
host by three wickets, Holder took two wickets for 37
runs from ten overs.
Holder, saved his best performance for the final against India. The Indians were dismissed for a paltry 145 in 45.1
overs. Holder conceded twenty runs from ten overs and dismissed one batsman to help the West Indies to captured
their first ICC Under 19 World Cup title by five wickets.
The young fast bowling sensation made his first-class debut against the Jaguars at Kensington Oval in 2018, since
then he has taken 76 first-class wickets in 19 matches at 24.23. Last year, he took 15 wickets in a three match
Test series against India A Team in the Caribbean, which prompted calls from several fans throughout the region
including the doyen of cricket commentators in the West Indies Joseph “Red” Perriera for his selection in the Test
series against India.
The former 400m, 800m, 1500m runner and high jumper at St Leonard’s Boys is rated as one of the fittest West
“Fitness is a big factor for me, I believe once I am fit everything else will take care of itself, I was an athlete at
secondary school, therefore I was aware of the importance of fitness from an early age; now I am a professional
cricketer it is even more important. Therefore, I place a lot of emphasis on being fit because it plays an important
part in my life as a cricketer”, he explained.
While the uncapped pacer has not set any personal goals for the tour to England, he is looking forward to the
historic Test series which is being played behind closed doors.
“Test cricket is the highest level of the game and if I am selected, I will do my do my upmost best to justify my
selection. I already have the solid foundation that took me to this point, I just have to adjust to whatever comes my
way’, Holder said.
At the end of the ICC World Cup in 2016, several cricket commentators predicted that Holder and Joseph will one
day open the bowling for the West Indies in Test cricket, maybe those predictions are about to come true.
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