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Holder wants better pitches to suit Windies’ fast bowlers

Monday, July 16, 2018
West Indies pacer Keemo Paul bowls on the second day of the second iPay Test powered by Minister co-sponsored by Marcel between WINDIES and Bangladesh yesterday at Sabina Park, Jamaica. Paul took two for 25. PICTURE © CWI MEDIA

KINGSTON, Jamaica—Despite trouncing Bangladesh 2-0 in their just completed Test series, West Indies captain Jason Holder is calling for better pitches to be prepared in the Caribbean.

He raised the concern during a press conference following the regional side’s 166-run victory over the visitors in the final Test at Sabina Park, yesterday.

Holder told reporters he’d like to see more consistent pitches which better suit fast bowlers.

“It dried out. After the first day it was very, very moist, but it dried out and there was still variable bounce which for me I don’t really want to be seeing in Test cricket. I just feel as though we need to do a little bit more in terms of our pitches to have consistent carry throughout the entire game as opposed to balls keeping low and some balls popping.

“I was a little disappointed in the way it turned out, but at the end of the day it was still good to see that the boys adjusted well on the surface and we got ourselves out of a tough spot after losing the toss…,” Holder said.

While he conceded that fast bowlers still managed to take wickets on the surface, Holder said the pitch was not as helpful as it could have been.

He said the Sabina Park pitch was usually known for its pace and bounce.

“…I just felt there should have been a little bit more in the surface here. We went in with four fast bowlers and up front we thought it would have been a bit more helpful for the faster bowlers.

“Albeit the seamers still got the wickets, but in terms of the carry and the consistent pace and bounce we’ve come to expect here at Sabina Park, it probably wasn’t the way we expected,” Holder said.

The West Indies captain’s call for better pitches comes on the heels of a similar request by former West Indies wicketkeeper Jeffrey Dujon, following the three-Test series against Sri Lanka which ended in a 1-1 tie.

Franci had promised good pitch

Before the match, the Jamaica Cricket Association’s (JCA) chief executive officer Courtney Francis had given the assurance that the Sabina Park’s pitch and outfield will be in top condition for the second and final Test match between West Indies and Bangladesh.

West Indies, which ended 1-1 with Sri Lanka in their recent three-Test series, have a one-nil lead against Bangladesh after sweeping to an innings and 219-run victory in the opening match in Antigua.

“The preparation has been excellent, and we are confident that we have done all that we can under the circumstances,” Francis told the Jamaica Observer.

“There are some standards set out and we have met all the standards. We met with the [Cricket] West Indies representatives this morning and they were impressed with where we are,” he said while insisting that all operational personnel are aware of their roles.

Francis said proper security measures will be in place and urged West Indies cricket supporters to throw their weight behind their team.

“We want people to come out and lend some support, seeing that West Indies are showing some consistency and winning some matches.

“While we curse them when they are not doing well, when they are doing well we need to lend the support to ensure we give them that morale boost and hope they can climb the rankings,” Francis said. (CMC)


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