West Indies captain Jason Holder praised a “total team effort” in their qualifying campaign in Zimbabwe. While Holder himself had a fine tournament – scoring 219 runs with a top score of 99 not out and taking 15 wickets – he was backed up by various other players at different points during the tournament. Rovman Powell, Shimron Hetmyer and Chris Gayle all scored hundreds, while Kemar Roach bagged 11 wickets.
“We had a good campaign,” Holder said. “We won all of our group stage matches. We came into the Super Sixes and lost our first game against Afghanistan, but we rebounded to win the next two must-win games to qualify. It was tremendous. Throughout the tournament, we had outstanding performers. Century-makers, five-wicket hauls. Kemar Roach was outstanding. He wasn’t fully fit in the tournament, but he really put up his hand and bowled us into strong positions with the new ball. It was a total team effort, on and off the field.
“This was one of the best times we’ve come together as a side. We knew the importance and significance of this tournament, and credit must go to each and every individual. And also to all the management and backroom staff. They’ve all outdone themselves.”
While they managed to secure their place at next year’s World Cup in England, Holder admitted that West Indies were not yet the finished article. He added that they would be leaving Zimbabwe without fully completing their mission, which was to win the qualifying tournament outright.
“Part of our job was to qualify for the World Cup, and part of it was to win this competition. Credit to the Afghans, they played some good cricket. They deserved to win the competition. Afghanistan had an outstanding tournament, to come back from where they were.”
“We’ve obviously got some room for improvement. We’re not a perfect side. We’ve got to address some issues. But I think we’ve got four series before we play in the World Cup. So it should be enough time and enough room for improvement.”
Liam Brickhill is a freelance journalist based in Cape Town
ESPN Sports Media Ltd.