‘No pressure’: Chemar Holder backing his ability

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By Akeem Greene

Chemar Keron Holder stands 6’2’’ and is a next menacing pacer from the island of Barbados, which has produced some of the fearsome greats of yesteryear.

There has been a media frenzy surrounding his talent and what the current pace battery of West Indies group is capable of accomplishing. Despite not featuring in an International match as yet, there has already been a heavy burden of expectation on the 22-year-old.

Former West Indies fast bowler Andy Roberts predicted the young pair of Alzarri Joseph and Chemar Holder could grow to become the “backbone” of West Indies’ fast-bowling attack “within the next five-six years”, while speaking to his former West Indies team-mate Michael Holding.

Holder speaking at Tuesday’s virtual press briefing said he will not place undue pressure on himself to live up to expectations.

“I know my ability; I know what I can do. Going out there, I am just going to focus and do what I have to do, I am not putting a lot of pressure on myself going into whatever game I play. Basically for me, it is [about] staying focus and staying patient.”

The 22-year-old was the leading fast bowler in the West Indies Four-Day Championship with 36 wickets

Holder, who said it is a great joy to be teammates again with fellow Youth World Cup winner Alzarri Joseph, indicated it has been a huge and quick transition to the senior cricket, more so at the international level but the trust and support from teammates have been encouraging.

“It is a big transition coming from youth cricket, but I have had a few experiences from [West Indies] A-team and President’s XI from when I was younger. I have also got a lot of information and guidance, Kemar Roach, playing in my franchise [Barbados Pride] so I know if anything happens in these Test matches I could easily go to Shannon [Gabriel], Jason [Holder] and Kemar to assist me in anything I need.”

Chemar, who has no relation to Test captain Jason Holder, further stated, “Anything I want to know they can give me the information. I have learnt a few things, firstly how hard Test cricket is and [that I] got to stay strong in terms of your mind and you got to keep putting in the work and the effort.”

He was the leading pacer in this year’s Regional Four-Day Championship with 36 wickets at an average of 18.91. This is not his first time in England, as he has had outings with the West Indies A team, last of which was in 2018, where he played a Four-Day match and took five wickets.

“I have been here and trained under similar conditions, and it is not a big advantage…it is about maintaining what I have done before and looking to progress.”

“I have a lot of confidence coming off of the Regional four-day but I have to mindful that it is whole different conditions to what I am playing in so I am still doing a lot of homework and a lot of preparation leading up the first Test.”

Holder revealed he has embraced the school of thought he is the “future” and stated it has been surreal being a part of the Test squad, noting “it means a lot to my family.”

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