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Harper: ‘Kraigg is the right man!’ Brathwaite replaces Holder as WI Test captain

Twenty-eight-year-old Barbadian batsman Kraigg Brathwaite was today confirmed as the 37th Test captain of the West Indies cricket team, after earning the nod of the Cricket West Indies (CWI) selection panel.

Brathwaite deputised for former captain and compatriot Jason Holder in a tour of Bangladesh, earlier this year, and led West Indies to a 2-0 Test series win. Holder was among 12 withdrawals from the touring party due, mostly, to Covid-19 concerns. 

Photo: West Indies players (from left) Kraigg Brathwaite, Nkrumah Bonner and Rahkeem Cornwall celebrate their 2-0 Test win over Bangladesh in the 2021 series.
(via CWI Media)

The CWI’s Covid-19 policy allows players to opt out of a tour due to health concerns without prejudice to future selection.

However, in this case, CWI lead selector Roger Harper suggested that Brathwaite proved to be an upgrade on his predecessor, Holder, who managed 11 wins, 5 draws and 21 defeats since taking over the captaincy from Denesh Ramdin in 2015.

“We all believe that Kraigg is the right man to lead our Test side at this point in time and I’m delighted that he has accepted the role,” Harper told the CWI Media. “In the recent Test series against Bangladesh, Kraigg was able to motivate his players to play to a very high level and create the culture we are looking to establish where the team showed a collective determination to fight and a real hunger for success.”

Brathwaite took the appointment in stride and is eager to get started.

“It is a huge honour to be given the captaincy of the West Indies Test team,” said Brathwaite. “I feel extremely proud and humbled that the Board and selectors have given me the opportunity and responsibility to lead the team.

Photo: West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite poses for a portrait at Emirates Old Trafford on 28 June 2020.
(Copyright Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

“The recent Test Series win in Bangladesh was a fantastic achievement and I’m really looking forward to the upcoming home series against Sri Lanka. I’m excited about what I believe this team can achieve in the future.”

Holder, who has already conceded captaincy of the West Indies’ limited overs teams to Kieron Pollard, remains a squad member in all three formats. And CWI  director of cricket Jimmy Adams insisted that the talented all-rounder continues to be an important part of the team.

“On behalf of CWI, I would like to thank Jason for all he has given to the game in the region while serving as captain of our Test team,” said Adams. “Throughout his five-and-a-half-year tenure, he has led with dignity while always upholding the highest values of the sport. As the world’s leading Test all-rounder, we all believe that Jason still has a tremendous role to play in West Indies Test Cricket for many years to come.”

The squad for the first Test against Sri Lanka will be announced tomorrow during the interval of the second CGI Insurance ODI at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium (SVRS).

Test Series Schedule – West Indies v Sri Lanka

March 21-25: 1st Test at the SVRS – 10am ECT

March 29 to April 2: 2nd Test at the SVRS – 10am ECT

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2 comments

  1. And there was also this before the end of February, just over two weeks ago:

    “Lloyd knows and Harper and company already know who the players do NOT want to be captain.

    (…) But under the circumstances, whoever you are, whatever you are, GOAT, icon, knight, legend, are you going to admit to Bajans in Barbados that you have even entertained that preposterous thought?”

    If you think all of that tangoing is not orchestrated, choreographed, I still have the bridge in Toco I was offering for sale earlier…

  2. I called the shot, I think.

    “…the Bajans will doubtless eat his tail raw should Guyanese CWI lead selector Roger Harper put God out of his thoughts and recommend that T&T’s Pollard be appointed to replace Barbados’ Jason Holder as West Indies Test captain,” I wrote in mid-January.

    So hiding behind Bangladesh, Harper nimbly side-stepped. And in lock-step, Adams echoes him with that “we all believe…” phrase.

    Accident? Hah! Coincidence? Haha!

    But unless Pollard does not want the job, which is a distinct possibility, it’s only a matter of time before he gets it. The evidence abounds that he is the best man for the Test job as well.

    To “create (…) culture (…) where the team show[s] a collective determination to fight and a real hunger for success” is less of a challenge when you’re leading a second string that when you’re dealing with the real McCoy.

    KB says he is “excited about what I believe this team can achieve in the future.” This team? We have to wait until tomorrow before we know what you mean by “this team.”

    But I wish him luck, fully aware that luck alone simply will not suffice in the demanding international Test cricket arena.

    Or, as a wise cricketing brain once put it, even the toss will even itself out over time.