“I can’t play all three formats in this day and age” – Jason Holder is eager to take his Worcestershire chance

The 32-year-old fast bowling all-rounder will make his debut when the Pears open their season at rivals Warwickshire tomorrow after signing a deal which covers the first five County Championship matches.

Holder sat out the West Indies most recent Test series in Australia but the former captain retains major ambitions in red-ball cricket. With the West Indies starting a three-match series against England in July, he hopes the stint at New Road underlines his dedication to the longest format.

“If there is anything to prove, or anything to show, this is the opportunity to do that,” Holder told. “I love Test cricket. It is my favorite format and always has been, 100 per cent. That is why I am here now, just to enjoy and get back into red ball cricket.

“I have not played a lot of four-day cricket and have not played as much Test cricket as I would like. For me, with the potential opportunity to come here and play against England in July, I said why not, you know? It’s a good challenge.”

Holder’s only previous experience of the County Championship saw him play two matches for Northamptonshire in 2019.

He arrived in the UK on Tuesday from the Caribbean, where he recently made a return to first-class cricket with Barbados in the West Indies Championship after a near four-year break.

Holder, who has taken 157 wickets and scored 2,797 runs in 64 Tests, opted out of the Australia tour to play in the ILT20 and believes the heavily-congested calendar, which sees franchise leagues run alongside international series, makes it inevitable players will be more selective in when and where they play.

“I think it is impossible right now, in this day and age, to play all three formats,” he said. “There is too much cricket. If you try it, you are going to burn yourself out.

“One of the things I experienced, particularly when I was West Indies captain, being involved in every single Test, every single ODI and also wanting to play leagues, was that a lot of the time you find yourself drifting without realizing.

“You turn up for a tournament and while you are there in body, you aren’t mentally. You’re burned out.

“I think it is important for people to take stock and understand while you want to be involved in as much cricket as possible, you want to be 100 per cent there, giving 100 per cent all the time.

“That is as important as playing every game. You want to be doing it in the right way, the right mind frame, having full capacity.

“I am going to be a lot more selective. I can’t play all three formats. I want to play a few more leagues as well so I have to sacrifice something. I have not quite worked out what that is yet.

“It is about looking at the calendar and trying to structure what is best for me in that year and not trying to look too far down the road. I have to sit down and be honest with myself and plot a path where I want to go.”

Right now the path leads to Edgbaston, where the Pears will play their first Division One match since 2018 following last year’s promotion.

“It’s a good opportunity for me and the club,” said Holder. “To be promoted is a wonderful feat but to now be in the highest league, with the chance to prove to people why you are there, is a big challenge.

“That’s the way the team must look at it. If you can get early success, it brings a massive sense of belief. Mindset is a big part of any sport.”

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