ROSEAU, Dominica (CMC) – Legendary former West Indies batsman Brian Lara has thrown his full backing behind newly appointed Test skipper Jason Holder.Lara, himself a former captain, said here yesterday the way Holder handled the one-day captaincy during this year’s ICC Cricket World Cup proved that he possesses the mettle to deal with the challenges of the Test captaincy.
“I think it’s an excellent choice. I saw the young man while working during the World Cup in Australia,” Lara said.
“And the pressure that he came under, personally with his bowling and even as a captain, and the way he handled it. He’s very eloquent and big in stature and he reminds me of another version of a Clive Lloyd.”
Holder’s elevation, first as one-day captain last December and more recently in the Test format, has drawn criticism in some quarters because of his relative inexperience.
The Barbadian seamer is the second youngest-ever Windies Test captain at 23 and has played just eight Tests and 33 One-Day Internationals. He replaced the more experienced Denesh Ramdin who was sacked after just 15 months in charge.
However, Lara, who led West Indies in 47 of his 131 Tests, said once Holder received the necessary support from the team and the West Indies Cricket Board, he could succeed.
“I have a lot of belief in the fact that he can do well if he gets the support from the players but more importantly from his employers, the West Indies Cricket Board,” said the global cricket icon.
“I still believe we are still in the same mind-set as we were 10, 15, 20 years ago which is not good for West Indies cricket and I hope they can change that a bit, and the likes of (chief selector) Clive Lloyd being around and some younger faces being around, lend to the fact that there might be something on the horizon.”
Lara was one of the most outstanding batsmen of the contemporary era, compiling 11 953 runs with 34 hundreds, at an average of 52. He retired in 2007 following the first-ever ICC World Cup in the Caribbean.
The 46-year-old visited here yesterday as a Special Envoy of the Trinidad and Tobago government, holding talks with Dominica’s Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, on how best T&T could assist with recovery efforts following the devastation caused by the passage of Tropical Storm Erika last month.