Holder says the time for talking is over

Saturday, June 22, 2019

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MANCHESTER, England — West Indies captain Jason Holder has pushed back on assertions his struggling team has lost semi-final ambitions after recent losses.

The Caribbean side, facing a mountainous challenge to reach the semi-finals, is seventh in the 10-team tournament with three points from five games. West Indies are seven points behind current leaders Australia, who have played a game more.

“I think the only thing we can do is come and play a solid game of cricket tomorrow against New Zealand,” was Holder's reply to a question about wheather the West Indies have given up.

“I think there's been enough talk going around for quite some time. And we've just got to play cricket now. I think we've done enough talking as a group. It's (now) just a matter for us to deliver.”

Holder was also questioned about the team opting not to train yesterday, and reports saying some members had gone clay target shooting.

“We had a team event. We wanted to get the guys together, just have a team event, a team bonding session. And I think it went really well,” said the 27-year-old West Indies skipper.

Although the West Indies did not practise at the match venue yesterday, team officials said they did have full sessions at the match venue on days prior to yesterday.

Their most recent match was on Monday — a loss to Bangladesh in Taunton. There is a school of thought that the West Indies think tank has been keen to manage the workload of the team with several players carrying minor injury concerns.

In the meantime, Holder came out in defence of the West Indies' preparation heading into the tournament.

“I don't think the preparation is any fault. We've had solid weeks of preparation. Guys were playing cricket. We had a tour of Ireland. Those who didn't go to Ireland were still playing cricket in the IPL (Indian Premier League).

“New Zealand, for example, they let their players play up to the very end of the IPL as well and then they came over here. But they're still playing some pretty good cricket. I don't fault the preparation. I think everybody was ready enough to play cricket,” he explained.

—Sanjay Myers

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