By India Today Sports Desk: Jason Holder has emphasised the need for strong structures to halt the downward spiral of the West Indies cricket team. Following their elimination from the 2023 50-over World Cup, Holder acknowledged the defeat to Scotland as one of the "lowest points" in his career but expressed optimism for the future.
Holder highlighted the importance of supporting the young players in the team and developing talent within the region. He stressed the need for investment in the lower levels of cricket to provide a solid foundation for aspiring players. Holder believed that the focus should be on long-term development rather than quick fixes, and he hopes to see the positive outcomes of these efforts in the coming years.
"I don't think all is lost. There's a lot of young guys in the group who can definitely develop and turn things around for West Indies cricket," Holder said at the post-match press conference. "We've got a young crop of players and we've got to put some support around them. It's really important that we try to utilise time outside of competition and put things in place where we can develop our talent.
"We have to look at the levels below and improve them so that when guys get here, they have a good foundation. It's an area we need to pay some special attention to. It's not a quick fix. It's something we need to spend time on. Development is the most important thing. Hopefully in the next couple of years we can see the fruits of that crop."
Holder's call for a comprehensive approach to West Indies cricket aligns with the appointment of the new director of cricket, Miles Bascombe, by Cricket West Indies (CWI). Bascombe has already recognised the urgent need for performance improvement and aims to establish High Performance systems across the territories under CWI's purview. Holder supported the idea of uniformity and emphasized the importance of unity in driving the region's cricket forward.
"We've all got to do it. It's not an individual thing, it's not a territorial thing, we've got to come together as a region and really think about how we want to go forward as a group and make it happen," Holder said.
While plans for the future are being formulated, the reality of missing out on the World Cup hits hard for Holder. Having participated in the 2015 and 2019 World Cups and experienced the excitement and significance of such global events, he felt disappointed. Last year's performance in the T20 World Cup, where the West Indies failed to progress to the Super 12s, also added to the sting of missing out on this year's 50-over World Cup.
"It's disappointing, especially after last year's effort in the T20 (World Cup). I've had the luxury of playing in two fifty-over World Cups before and some T20 World Cups. There are special occasions so this one will hurt as the one last year did," Holder said.
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