Friday, March 29th, 2024

Worcestershire Sign Jason Holder For Launch Of Championship Campaign

Worcestershire have further strengthened their squad for their return to Division One action in the Vitality County Championship by signing West Indies star Jason Holder, for the opening five matches.

Holder, a former number one all-rounder in the ICC Test rankings, will fly into England in time for the opening Championship fixture against Warwickshire at Edgbaston beginning on Friday, April 5.

The 32-year-old, a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 2021, is also available for the home fixtures with Durham and Somerset at Kidderminster and the away games with Nottinghamshire and Kent.

He is the latest in a group of distinguished West Indian cricketers to play for Worcestershire including Vanburn Holder, Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Shannon Gabriel and Kemar Roach.

Holder has captained his country in more than 100 internationals across all formats and became only the second West Indian player after the great Sir Garfield Sobers to score 2,500 runs and take 150 wickets in Test cricket.

He has produced many memorable performances including in 2019 a double century against England in the First Test on his home ground at the Kensington Oval, Barbados.

Holder has also made his mark in white ball cricket to great effect, becoming the fastest player in ODIs to take 100 wickets and score 1,000 runs for the West Indies.

He has been regularly signed up to play franchise cricket, including for five different teams in the IPL, and recently had spell with Khulna Tigers in the Bangladesh Premier League.

His only previous spell of county cricket was with Northamptonshire in 2019 when he played two Championship and give One-Day Cup games.

Holder said: “I always enjoy my time in England and I’m looking forward to helping Worcestershire get off to a good start to life in Division One of the County Championship.

“I know Worcestershire have had strong links with the West Indies in terms of players playing for them over many years and I hope I can make my mark over the five games.

“When you get promoted, if you can make a decent start it gives you that confidence and belief to build upon for the rest of the season.

“You speak to people on the circuit and they said Worcestershire have a tight knit but friendly dressing room and I’m looking forward to playing my part on and off the field.”

Worcestershire CEO, Ashley Giles, is delighted to have acquired Holder’s services for the first block of Championship cricket.

“He said: “I’m absolutely delighted.  When someone of Jason’s experience and quality becomes available, even for a short window, we just had to jump at it.

“We know on the field as a cricketer he is a world class all-rounder but off the field a world class individual as well.

“We are also aware that starting the season well is going to be important to us and having him in our line-up can only help that.

“Just having someone of his quality when you take to the field gives you a big lift.

“You are back in Division One, you know it’s going to be tough, and you can only be better if you’ve got Jason Holder in that line-up. He has a big presence.”

Holder will become Worcestershire’s second overseas player available to play Championship cricket after New Zealander Nathan Smith who finished as the leading wicket-taker in the Plunket Shield.