Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 17th 2015 Contents A41
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SYDNEY---The International Cricket
Council has announced match offi-
cials for the World Cup quarterfinals,
with Rod Tucker and Nigel Llong to
stand in the opening game between
1996 champion Sri Lanka and South
Africa at Sydney on Wednesday.
Ian Gould and Aleem Dar will han-
dle the second quarterfinal between
defending champion India and
Bangladesh at the Melbourne Cricket
Marais Erasmus and Kumar Dhar-
masena have been assigned to four-
time champion Australia s
quarterfinal against 1992 champion
Pakistan in Adelaide on Friday, and
Richard Kettleborough and Bruce Ox-
enford will umpire the last of the
quarterfinals on Saturday between
unbeaten New Zealand and the West
Kettleborough, Oxenford for Windies quarters
WELLINGTON---Amid the many excite-
ments and plot twists of the pool stage
of the Cricket World Cup, a small but
compelling drama has played out off-
stage that may reach its climax during
Jason Holder s personal battle to estab-
lish himself as the captain of a West Indies
team dogged by selection controversies
and a schism between players and their
board has provided an important sub-text
to his team s difficult campaign.
Holder was appointed the West Indies
youngest captain at 23 by board chairman
Clive Lloyd after playing only 21 one-day
internationals. Thrown in at the deep end,
he has had to prove himself to many
doubters outside the West Indies team
and to his own players.
The background to his appointment
was not propitious. Some senior players,
notably opener Chris Gayle, were openly
contemptuous of the selection of a West
Indies World Cup squad which didn t
contain Keiron Pollard or Dwayne Bravo.
Holder was also asked to take over from
Bravo, punished for his role in the team s
rebellion in India, and to lead a team which
included three former captains, among
the Darren Sammy and Denesh Ramdin.
There were questions from the outset
over whether those players would accept
Holder, bow to his authority, or whether
they might push back against the lead-
ership of an unproven captain, many years
And Holder s tenure didn t start well:
he was in charge during their 4-1 loss in
a five-match series in South Africa, though
with recent upheavals that result wasn t
The West Indies World Cup campaign
began with a loss to Ireland in a match
in which they sometimes looked lethargic
and ill-prepared. But they reached the
quarterfinals, albeit at the last gasp and
on net run rate and Holder played a large
part in that achievement, both with his
leadership and personal performance.
He made half centuries against India
and South Africa and had returns of 3-
48 against Zimbabwe and 4-27 against
the United Arab Emirates.
It appeared to an outside observer that
he had the unswerving support of his
teammates. There was a minor incident
with former Sammy in the final pool
match against UAE but Holder dismissed
it as horseplay and said they were the best
He said the captaincy had been chal-
lenging but rewarding.
"I ll tell you what, I ve learnt a few
things not only about myself but the game
in general," Holder said. "It s been good
"It s been a very good challenge, some-
thing that I was looking forward to from
the time I was a youngster. But being
thrown into it now has opened up my
eyes in a lot of ways."
Holder has received endorsement as
captain from West Indies greats Brian Lara
and Viv Richards. Lloyd hailed him as
being at the vanguard of a new generation
of West Indies cricketers, who will serve
the Caribbean side for years to come.
There have been criticisms, some severe,
but Holder said he carefully filtered all
"You would get criticism in anything
you do," he said. "I know some people
are for it and some people are against it.
That s life.
"What I can t do is dwell on it. I can t
let it get to me. I think what is important
is I just focus on what is required of me
and what is required of me is to lead this
team and lead it to the best of my ability."
SYDNEY---Russell Domingo was
keeping track of time in his head, wait-
ing for the inevitable reference to
South Africa s failure to win a knock-
out match at the Cricket World Cup.
It s a record that has been univer-
sally---in cricket conversations---boiled
down to one word: choking.
Domingo s South Africa lineup gets
a chance to rectify that tomorrow at
the Sydney Cricket Ground against
1996 champion Sri Lanka, in the first
of the World Cup quarterfinals.
At a news conference yesterday,
Domingo was up front about how his
squad was coping with a past that could
have a big impact on its future.
It started with the preface to a ques-
tion: "I hate to bring this up...."
Domingo finished it himself.
"Choking? Choking---there you go,"
he said, smiling. "It s taken four min-
utes---it s taken a long time."
So, after finishing the question, he
went straight into the answer.
"It s been part of South African crick-
et for a period of time. Every time we
get to these events it s going to be ques-
tioned. We ve spoken about it, no doubt
about it," he said. "We ve faced up front
that in the past, we have let opportu-
nities slip by us.
"Hopefully, we ll have learned from
the lessons that previous sides have
made at events like that. By all means,
we want to make sure that doesn t hap-
pen to us."
South Africa won four of its group
stage games to finish second behind
defending champion India in Pool
B. There were some comprehensive
wins, and two 400-plus totals but
losses to India and Pakistan were
setbacks for a team that entered the
tournament as a prime title con-
tender---not for the first time.
"We re trying to really focus on things
we ve done well, not get caught up in
things that have happened in the past,"
Domingo said. "South Africa find them-
selves in a tough situation that if they
win all their games before the knock-
outs, people question them. If they
don t win all their games before the
knockouts, people question.
"We know we come with a clean
slate---we come here knowing if we play
to the best of our ability, we ve got a
good chance of winning on Wednesday."
"I have always said
that the interest of
the team must trump
Somehow I sense
this is not the case."
West Indies batting
great BRIAN LARA
on the current West
Indies team in the
ICC World Cup.
Call: 623-8870 (Ext:
2213, 2711, 2212, 2192)
struck an enterprising
82 to guide his team to
first inings points
Jaguars in the regional
tournament on Sun-
West Indies bowler Jason Holder appeals for a wicket while bowling
against the United Arab Emirates during their Cricket World Cup Pool B
match in Napier, New Zealand, Sunday. AP PHOTO
Crunch time for historical chokers South Africa
Holder survives trial by fire
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