West Indies captain Jason Holder. (FILE)
HAMILTON, New Zealand – Still reeling from their heavy innings defeat to the Black Caps in the opening Test, West Indies were dealt another blow on Tuesday when captain Jason Holder was ruled out of the second Test after being suspended by the International Cricket Council for an over-rate offence.
The ICC announced that West Indies had been hit by a slow over-rate penalty after being adjudged to be three overs short of their target during the opening Test which the Windies lost by an innings and 67 runs inside four days on Monday at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.
While the players were fined 30 per cent of their match fee, Holder, as captain, was hit with a 60 per cent fine.
Under ICC regulations, players are players are fined ten per cent of their match fees for every over their side fails to bowl within the specified time, with the captain fined double.
The 26-year-old Holder also had a similar offence during the opening Test against Pakistan in Jamaica last April, meaning the current one was his second within a 12-month period, resulting in a one-match suspension.
Holder has been a key player for the Windies, with his steady medium pace first change and more than handy lower order batting which has already brought him two Test hundreds.
However, he experienced lean returns in Wellington, scoring zero and seven and picking up one for 102 off 34 overs in New Zealand’s innings of 520 for nine declared.
With West Indies left to chase a series-equalling win at Seddon Park at the weekend, Holder on Monday urged his side not to panic as they looked to take something away from the series.
“I think we’ve done reasonably well in the year. We’ve done some good things in this Test match as well so there’s no need to panic,” he said before the suspension was announced.
“It’s only one Test match gone – we lost that obviously – so this this is a chance to put things right in the second Test match. Hamilton will be probably similar conditions to what we had [in Wellington] in the second innings.
“I’ve played there before, it’s a good batting surface so hopefully our batsmen can put up a really good first innings total and try to control the game from there.”
Holder’s absence could open the door for the other all-rounder in the squad, Raymon Reifer, to make his debut.
The left-handed batsman and left-arm seamer was part of the Test tour of England and Zimbabwe, but failed to break into the squad.
It is now expected that opener and vice-captain, Kraigg Brathwaite, will step up to lead the side in Holder’s absence.
The second Test bowls off on Saturday. (CMC)