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Holder says fan support crucial for West Indies


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West Indies Test captain Jason Holder (right) has the attention of a couple of fans at the Kensington Oval ticket office.

(CMC) – West Indies skipper Jason Holder on Friday underscored the importance of the regional fan base, as he took time out from his schedule to greet supporters at Kensington Oval.

The charismatic six-footer made a surprise visit to the ticket offices as fans arrived, some as early as 6 am, in a bid to secure seats for the first Test against England at the historic venue starting January 23.

“I just felt the need to come and meet the fans and spend some time with them,” said the 27-year-old.

“We’re nothing if we don’t have the support of our fans. We play for them and we value their support … so I made the effort to come this morning and speak to some of them.”

Holder posed for photos and also interacted with the more than 100 fans waiting in line to purchase tickets.

The all-rounder has made a full recovery after missing the ill-fated tour of Bangladesh last November and December.

West Indies suffered a 2-0 clean sweep in the Test series before going down 2-1 in the one-day series. However, they ended the tour on a high note by winning the Twenty20 series 2-1.

Holder, who turned out in Barbados Pride’s last first class match against Guyana Jaguars at Kensington Oval, declared himself fit to start the first Test.

“I’m feeling strong again and I’m looking forward to playing against England here at home,” Holder told reporters.

“I had a full month on rehab and my body is feeling great. I played the last four-day match for Barbados against Guyana and it managed to get through that game quite well. I will be fully ready for the first Test.”

Holder averages 30 with the bat from 35 Tests and has also scored two hundreds, while taking 86 wickets at an average of 28.

The Barbadian enjoyed an outstanding year in 2018, ending the year 10th in the ICC bowling rankings and second in the all-rounders rankings.

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