WEST INDIES captain Jason Holder has been banned for the final Test against England due to his side’s slow over-rate.
Holder has led the side brilliantly in the last two matches, sealing an unassailable 2-0 lead to secure the Wisden Trophy, but will not be around to finish the job in St Lucia next week.
It is understood the International Cricket Council has imposed the suspension after the Windies failed to keep up with the required rate during their 10-wicket win in Antigua. The fact they wrapped up victory inside three days does not count in mitigation.
Holder has previously been penalised in the same way, forced to sit out a Test against New Zealand in December 2017 after two over-rate breaches in a 12-month period.
There is no like-for-like replacement for Holder – reliable seam bowlers who score unbeaten double centuries, as he did in the first Test, do not grow on trees – but Kraigg Brathwaite should take the captaincy reins.
With the series won, the Windies could take the opportunity to hand his place in the side to Jamaican tyro Oshane Thomas. The strapping 21-year-old has played just eight first-class matches, but has been with the squad for the past two matches and has impressed attack leader Kemar Roach with his speed.
A lot of people wouldn’t have been able to take to the field. It was thoroughly up to him because I didn’t want to deprive him of the opportunity if he felt he could go out and perform.Justin Holder
Meanwhile, Holder dedicated the West Indies’ emphatic victory over England to bereaved bowler Alzarri Joseph, who played on despite the death of mother Sharon hours before the final day of the second Test.
Joseph, 22, was still coming to terms with his devastating loss as he warmed up with tears in his eyes on the third morning at his home ground in Antigua.
“It took a lot of heart for him to be on the field today, he’s exceptional,” said Holder. “A lot of people wouldn’t have been able to take to the field. It was thoroughly up to him because I didn’t want to deprive him of the opportunity if he felt he could go out and perform.
“I know he wanted to do something special for his mum, and credit to him for that. He held his hand up high and did an exceptional job in helping us clinch the game.”
England captain Joe Root added: “It can’t have been easy for him to go through that. We were all aware and we want to wish as much condolences and love to him and his family.”