West Indies captain Jason Holder has been suspended by the ICC for the final Test against England due to his side’s slow overrate — a decision Michael Vaughan has labelled ‘bonkers’ and Shane Warne ‘ridiculous’ given the second Test finished inside three days.
Holder has led the side brilliantly in the last two matches, sealing an unassailable 2-0 lead to secure the Wisden Trophy, but will not be around to finish the job in St Lucia next week.
Press Association Sport understands the ICC has imposed the suspension after the Windies failed to keep up with the required rate during their 10-wicket win in Antigua. The fact they wrapped up victory inside three days does not count in mitigation — something Vaughan and Warne find ridiculous.
The test didn’t go 3 days – can you please appeal this @JaseHolder98 ! What a ridiculous decision – where’s the common sense here ? Ps Congrats on a wonderful series win too. International cricket needs a strong Windies team & hopefully this is just the start @BrianLara https://t.co/dxKXDnAib7— Shane Warne (@ShaneWarne)
For a game that finished inside 3 days I find this absolutely bonkers … https://t.co/ewfheUL9ri— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan)
246 over Test Match .. that amounts to 2.6 days of Cricket .. A team hammers the opposition & plays great Test cricket yet the Captain gets a ban for Slow over rate .. @Jaseholder98 can find himself very very unlucky on this occasion .. !! The game really doesn’t help itself …— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan)
Vaughan opined a better punishment for slow over rates would be a run-penalty.
Hitting teams & captains with Run penalties after every innings is more powerful than a ban or suspension .. That’s how I would deal with slow over rate .. It would affect the series and games they are being slow in much more .. #OnOn— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan)
Holder has previously been penalised in the same way, forced to sit out a Test against New Zealand in December 2017 after two overrate breaches in a 12-month period.
There is no like-for-like replacement for Holder — reliable seam bowlers who score unbeaten double centuries, as he did in the first Test, do not grow on trees — but Kraigg Brathwaite should take the captaincy reins. With the series won, the Windies could take the opportunity to hand his place in the side to Jamaican tyro Oshane Thomas.
The strapping 21-year-old has played just eight first-class matches, but has been with the squad for the past two matches and has impressed attack leader Kemar Roach with his speed.
“Oshane is a very talented cricketer, a young guy with raw pace,” Roach told Press Association Sport.