Former West Indies captain, Jason Holder, backed the scheduling of the next season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) ahead of the T20 World Cup next year.
Speaking exclusively to ANI on Thursday, Holder said it would be beneficial to get more game time and hit top form ahead of the 2024 T20 World Cup.
“The T20 cricket you play leading upto a World Cup is always beneficial. Definitely, the IPL being played before the T20 World Cup would help. It will help the players prepare mentally as well,” Holder told ANI.
Asked which franchise he would like to turn out for in the IPL next year, the 32-year-old said that he had a ‘nice time’ with Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and he wouldn’t mind playing for these two franchises in the next season of cash-rich domestic T20 league.
However, he was quick to add that it wasn’t for him to decide which team he would represent in the IPL next year.
“I have had a good time with Sunrisers (Hyderabad) and Chennai (Super Kings) as well. One of those two teams would be nice to go back to but it is not in my hands,” the West India, who towers at over 6ft, added.
The Caribbean represented the CSK in the 2013 season of the tournament. However, ahead of the 2015 season, Holder was traded to Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Again, ahead of the last edition of the IPL, he was sold to Rajasthan Royals (RR) for Rs. 5.75 crores. Turning out for the Royals, Holder scalped four wickets in 8 matches.
On the importance of franchise cricket in this day and age, the Barbadian opined that it’s important for a player to understand and assess his work pressure and the grind of international cricket before venturing into franchise-based tournaments.
“I think it has its place. I think it is important to understand the importance of international cricket. I don’t think if international cricket existed none of these leagues would be possible. I think it’s important to understand your work on the international stage and then branch into franchise cricket,” the 32-year-old said.
On his performance in the Abu Dhabi T20 League where he is representing the Samp Army, Holder said it has been going pretty well, adding that he was happy to smash a few sixes in the tournament.
The Caribbean said he hoped he could win the League for the Samp Army.
“I have gone pretty well so far. I bowled really well and could strike a few overhead boundaries as well. So, it has been good for me so far. I am really happy with how things have been going here for me. I hope we win the competition for the Samp Army,” the Caribbean said.
On West Indies’ preparation for the upcoming T20 World Cup, he said the series against England and Australia would be very important for the Caribbeans as it would be their last opportunity to gather as a group before the all-important ICC tournament.
Holder opined that franchise tournaments will also help the team get into its stride before the T20 World Cup.
The 32-year-old further added that he was excited for the 2024 T20 World Cup.
“We have got a series coming up against England and then Australia as well. I believe those two series would be very important for us. Those are practically our last opportunities to gather as a group before the big World Cup. In between we gonna have a few franchise tournaments, I believe players will have the opportunity to still play. I think it is an adequate amount of preparation before the World Cup. I am really excited for the 2024 T20 World Cup,” Holder said.
The upcoming T20 World Cup will be hosted jointly by the West Indies and the US. However, the International Cricket Council (ICC), the game’s global governing body, still hasn’t come out with an itinerary for the tournament.
Holder made his debut in the T20I format in 2014 against New Zealand and has since gone on to bag 57 wickets in 55 matches for the West Indies. With the bat, he has 407 runs in 55 T20I matches.
Holder was also a member of the West Indies squad when the Caribbeans lifted the T20 World Cup trophy in 2016.