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Territorial mindset needs to change in West Indies cricket, says Jason Holder

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Harare, July 2 (PTI): West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder appealed fellow cricketers to shun “territorial” mindset and come together “as a region” for the good of the sport after the team failed to qualify for the ODI World Cup in India.

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The two-time former title winners will not feature in the 50-over World Cup for the first time since the competition’s inception in 1975.

The team from the Caribbean was on Saturday eliminated after its seven-wicket loss to Scotland in a Super Six match of the World Cup Qualifier here.

West Indies scored 181 and Scotland chased down the target with more than six overs to spare.

“It’s (cricket) not an individual thing or a territorial thing. We’ve got to come together as a region… and really, really think about how we we want to go forward as a group and make it happen,” one of the world’s top all-rounders said during the post-match press conference here on Saturday.

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Holder scored 45 and took a wicket on Saturday.

Cricket West Indies (CWI), the governing body of the team, consists of six associations, namely Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Leeward Islands, Trinidad & Tobago and Windward Islands.

The tall 31-year-old cricketer added his team knew the importance of the contest against Scotland and had a real good chance, but couldn’t cross the line in the end.

“We knew what was at stake and we still had a chance to qualify. We had a really good opportunity to play Scotland and beat them (but) we didn’t do that.

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“This is probably one of the lowest points I’ve had with the team. But, you know, there are still a lot of positives. I was really happy for Nicholas Pooran, the way he played through this entire competition. And, it’s good to see some of the younger guys get an opportunity on the big stage,” he said.

Holder said no short-term patchwork will help West Indies cricket and changes will have to take places at the grassroots.

“It’s not a quick-fix, it’s something we need to spend time on. As I said, development (at grassroots) is the most important thing, where we can just put things in place and develop our talent. Hopefully, in the next couple of years we can see the fruits of that crop.”

Indicating that he saw this day coming, Holder said the West Indies team was seeing a “fluctuation” in performances over the last few years.

“There have been too many fluctuations between good performances and bad performances (in the last few years) and it’s a matter for us to understand where we are and all of us need to put our hands on the deck to make it (turnaround) happen.”

“We need to look at the levels below (age-group and domestic cricket) as well and try our best to improve them as well. So, when these young guys get here (senior level), they have a good foundation. We all need to put our hands up and be accounted for as individuals.

“We just didn’t play well enough. We haven’t been playing well enough maybe over the past couple of years,” he added.



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