Allrounder Jason Holder believes a good showing in the upcoming West Indies Cricket Board's season could see him being catapulted into the forefront of the thinking of the WICB selection panel.
The giant 21-year-old bowls right-arm fast medium and is also a stylish lower-order batsman. He had his first taste of international cricket during the just concluded tour of Bangladesh, but did not play a match. He was called up as a replacement for Tino Best, who was ruled out with an injury.
On his return home, Holder is expected to turn out in the ongoing inter-parish 20/20 tournament in Barbados. According to him, his only off-day during the Yuletide Season will be Christmas Day.
"When I return home it is back to the nets for me ... won't be any time for off days. I have a big season ahead of me starting with the Caribbean T20. I will spend some time with my family and relax on Christmas Day, but apart from that, I will be hitting lots of balls, bowling lots of balls and doing lots of fielding drills," Holder said.
"There is no time to take off. The selectors gave me a golden opportunity to go on the tour of Bangladesh and even though I didn't get a game, I felt I did what was required. I want to make sure that I remain in the minds of the selectors and to do that I have to perform in a big way when I play in the regional tournaments next year. There's a lot of cricket next year and there will be lots of opportunities to showcase my skills."
Holder was overlooked by the Barbados selectors and will play for Combined Campuses and Colleges in the Caribbean T20. He is also looking to make a mark in the WICB Regional four-day competition and Regional Super 50 tournament — both of which bowl off in February.
The West Indies will be in Australia from January 29 to February 13 for five One-Dayers and a T20. They return home to face Zimbabwe in three ODIs, two T20s and two Tests from February 22 to March 24. In June the Windies travel to England for the eight-nation ICC Champions Trophy.
"I think I have a point to prove after not being selected in the Barbados team. I wanted to play for my country first. I believe everyone dreams of playing for their country. I'm pumped up for all the games, I'm feeling confident and want to prove my worth. I have played for CCC before and I know everyone in the team quite well. We have a good team and a good structure. We need to come together and play as a unit. Don't be surprised if we shock a few people," he said.
Looking back on his time in Bangladesh, Holder said it was not spent "warming the bench". He noted "there was lots to do and lots to learn" — a natural progression from what he did while a member of the Sagicor High Performance Centre.
"This tour was a very good learning experience. I fully enjoyed every moment and the camaraderie in the camp was great. I'm looking to work my way fully into the West Indies team."