HE IS a former middle-distance runner who idolises Curtly Ambrose and does not mind bowling bouncers.
West Indies under-19 international Chemar Holder has joined Grade club Port Adelaide until late next month while he is in SA with the Darren Lehmann Academy.
And the 190cm paceman from Barbados is already making his mark at the Magpies after snaring 5/10 off 9.1 overs in the club’s win over Southern District on Saturday.
“I’ve always been a fast bowler,” Holder, 19, says.
“I just picked up the ball, ran in and bowled as fast as I could, and coaches and family always gave me a lot of support, so I fell in love with it.
“I’ve always liked (former West Indies star) Curtly Ambrose.
“Back home when I was playing youth level the coach would say I looked like him when he bowls – the run-up, aggressive and attacking with a decent bouncer.”
Holder played three games for West Indies at last year’s Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh.
He claimed 5/82 from 27 overs, including 1/20 in the final – a five-wicket win over India.
The Barbados Cricket Association and Holder’s family encouraged him to head to Adelaide during the Caribbean winter to test himself in a foreign environment.
“It’s a different way of playing cricket than home so I’m just having to adapt to situations and go with the game plan,” he says.
“The conditions are different, it’s a lot colder than back home … and the pitches have a lot more grass.”
His father was a club soccer player but Holder had to choose between cricket and athletics, in which he ran the 400m, 800m and 1500m during high school.
“I had good (running) times and could’ve had even better times with more training.
“I was pushing for a scholarship in athletics but I got the chance to play cricket at a senior level so I went with cricket.”
Holder hopes to get fitter and improve his batting during his time in Adelaide.
His long-term goal is a senior international call-up with the West Indies.