Holder deflects questions about leadership after WCup loss
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — West Indies captain Jason Holder had to deflect more questions about his leadership Saturday after the team’s 143-run loss to New Zealand in the quarterfinals of the Cricket World Cup.
There were concerning signs of dissent on the field against his captaincy as it seemed senior players such as Denesh Ramdin, Darren Sammy and Sulieman Benn were countermanding Holder in setting fields while Martin Guptill hit his record 237.
Not so, Holder said. This was just evidence of the West Indies’ consultative leadership style.
“When we play cricket we always ask for input from our players,” he said. ”(Darren) Sammy’s a senior player and (Sulieman) Benn is also a senior player so we always try to get input from everybody and always get the best views about how to get batsmen out at a particular stage of the game.
“The ball was going all over the place at one stage and when people are set it’s difficult to contain them. It was just one of those days when we didn’t execute our game plan and we paid for it.”
The West Indies have been through many upheavals in recent times with selection controversies, player rebellions and even questions over Holder’s appointment to the captaincy at the age of 23. Holder now has to deal with the appointment of Phil Simmons as the team’s new coach, though he said he was looking forward to forming a partnership with the former player.
“Obviously, Phil Simmons is named the new coach,” he said. “Our main focus at this point is to get ready for the England series. We’ll obviously sit and have some discussions and come up with a plan going forward.
“I’m looking forward to working with him, it’s my first time working with him so I’m just looking forward to that.”
Holder said he was proud of the way he had conducted himself in the captaincy in often difficult circumstances.
“I think I’ve taken a lot, I’ve been through a lot,” he said. “There’s been criticism coming left, right and center and I’m proud of myself the way I stood up.
“I’m not one to shirk away from responsibility or dip my head when things get tough. I expected a tough job when I accepted the captaincy. It’s been a tough time but we’ve had some very good times and I’ve learned a lot just in terms of how to manage our players and get the best out of our players. It’s been a challenge, yes, but one that I’ve enjoyed.”