London, April 14 - (www.bcacricket.org) - Former West Indies Test captain Jason Holder was has been named among the Wisden Five Cricketers of the Year.
The honour was announced today as the historic almanack unveiled its 2021 edition. Wisden is the game’s most prestigious and recognizable publication and this outstanding recognition is presented to players who excelled in the game.
Barbadian Holder has emerged as the leading all-rounder in Test cricket and is among just a handful of players in history to score over 2 000 runs and take over 100 wickets in less than 50 Test appearances.
Holder was at the forefront when the West Indies team played against England in the summer of 2020, becoming the first team to tour during the COVID-19 pandemic, when they played three Test matches in a bio-secure bubble. He also spoke publicly and profoundly on the Black Lives Matter, following the death of George Floyd in the United States, and the fight for equality and justice around the world.
Holder took six for 42 in the first innings of the first Test at the Rose Bowl in Southampton as England were bowled out for 242. West Indies won by four wickets.
In its essay, Wisden described Holder as: “… soft voice, old-world manners and a physique that wouldn’t shame a superhero, he had something of the Golden Age Hollywood star. Now, he graduated into a statesman”.
The publication added: “Holder and his squad were determined to show solidarity. After discussions with the England management, both teams wore a Black Lives Matter logo on their shirts, while the squads, plus backroom staff and officials, would take a knee before the first ball in each game. It was a rare example of cricket uniting in a humanitarian gesture – and a defining image of the summer”.
Holder expressed great delight at being named among the elite list.
“This award means so much to me. I’m delighted that my efforts to play well and make a contribution have been bearing fruit and I just want to continue and reach higher heights,” he said.
“To be named one of the five Wisden Cricketers of the Year is something truly special as over the years I have seen a list of great players who have etched their names in history. The last recipient from West Indies was Shai Hope in 2017 and after seeing his performances it inspired me to be one of the Wisden Cricketers of the future.”
Ricky Skerritt, President of CWI said: “Congratulations to Jason whose all-round cricket excellence is making all West Indians proud. For such a relatively young and intelligent athlete, he should get even better.”
Jimmy Adams, CWI’s Director of Cricket remarked: “On behalf of all of us at Cricket West Indies, I want to congratulate Jason on his being selected as one of Wisden’s Five Cricketers of the Year. In a period that has thrown up many challenges, he has performed consistently with distinction and dignity both on and off the field and we wish him all the success possible going forward.”
Apart from Holder, the other Cricketers of the Year are Englishmen Don Sibley, Zak Crawley and Darren Stevens and Pakistan’s Mohammad Rizwan.
The Five Cricketers of the Year represent a tradition that dates back in Wisden to 1889, making this the oldest individual award in cricket. The five are picked by the editor, and the selection is based, primarily but not exclusively, on the players’ influence on the previous English season. No one can be chosen more than once.
West Indies Wisden Cricketers of the Year
Names in brackets indicate the player was chosen for his feats for a County team. All others were picked mainly for their feats at international level.
2021 – Jason Holder
2018 – Shai Hope
2013 – Marlon Samuels
2008 – Shiv Chanderpaul (Ottis Gibson)
1997 – (Phil Simmons)
1995 – (Brian Lara)
1992 – Curtly Ambrose, Richie Richardson
1991 – (Desmond Haynes)
1989 – Jeff Dujon (Franklyn Stephenson)
1987 – (Courtney Walsh)
1985 – Larry Gomes
1983 – (Alvin Kallicharran, Malcolm Marshall)
1980 – Joel Garner
1979 – (John Shepherd)
1977 – Gordon Greenidge, Michael Holding, Viv Richards
1975 – (Andy Roberts)
1974 – Keith Boyce, Roy Fredericks
1972 – (Lance Gibbs)
1971 – (Clive Lloyd)
1970 – Basil Butcher
1967 – Seymour Nurse
1964 – Charlie Griffith, Conrad Hunte, Rohan Kanhai, Garfield Sobers
1959 – (Roy Marshall)
1958 – OG “Collie” Smith, Clyde Walcott
1951 – Sonny Ramadhin, Alf Valentine, Everton Weekes, Frank Worrell
1940 – Learie Constantine
1934 – George Headley
1915 – (Sydney Gordon Smith)