Northamptonshire County Cricket Club has today announced that West Indies captain Jason Holder will be in the squad for part of the 2019 Specsaver County Championship and Royal London One Day Cup campaigns, subject to Cricket West Indies NOC approval.
Holder will arrive at the County Ground ahead of the start of the season and will be available for the first two Specsavers County Championship matches against Middlesex and Glamorgan, as well as the opening half-dozen Royal London One Day Cup matches.
The 27-year-old, who at 6ft 7in is an eye-catching presence on the field, has built a career over the past five years to be currently ranked as the number one all-rounder in the world. Holder is certainly coming to the County Ground at a good time. Not only has he captained the West Indies to a series win over England, but his own personal statistics were bolstered by a 202 not-out in the first Test and taking seven wickets at an average of 17.85.
In his 37 Tests he has scored 1,783 runs at an average of 33.64, and taken 93 wickets at 27.69.
Holder has also 85 One-Day International caps to his name, and it was in this format that he first became his country's captain in 2014. He was only 23 at the time, but his leadership was such that he was appointed Test captain within 12 months.
His First Class career includes 65 matches, 2,422 runs (ave 26.61) and 164 wickets (best 6/59), and he is looking forward to experiencing English county cricket for the first time with Northamptonshire.
"England is somewhere I've wanted to play for a long time and I'm looking forward to the experience of county cricket and testing myself in the different conditions," he said. "Northamptonshire has a reputation of being a good club to be a part of, with a tight-knit squad and coaches who want to get the best out of their players.
"I'm hopeful from a personal point that it will provide me a good opportunity of acclimatizing to English conditions and getting some time in the middle ahead of the World Cup in England and I'm grateful to Northamptonshire for the opportunity which I am really looking forward to."
Head coach David Ripley is delighted that Holder is heading to the County Ground.
"Our discussions with Jason have been on-going for some weeks now," he said. "Jason is one of the world's top players and it will be great to have him as part of our squad during a period of the season where we will have both Specsavers County Championship and Royal London One-Day Cup matches.
"He is a quality bowler, match-winning batsman, catches well at slip and his leadership experience will also be important, supporting and working with Alex Wakely and our other senior players."
Holder is the third major international player to have signed with Northamptonshire for 2019, the others being South Africa batsman Temba Bavuma and Pakistan all-rounder Faheem Ashraf.
Season Tickets remain on general sale, with the T20 package including both of England Women's internationals against the West Indies. Head to www.northantscricket.com/season-tickets for full information.