End of the road for Holder?
Roland holder yesterday conceded that his first-class career maybe finished after his non-inclusion in a squad of 38 for a Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) year-round programme geared at preparing national squads.
"It would be correct to say that. If they haven't selected me, it would suggest that," the 33-year-old middle-order batsman responded when asked by the Saturday Sun if he reckoned his omission suggested his lengthy first-class career was over.
In announcing the squad, which shows a bias towards youth, the BCA said the selectors would have the right to draft new players into the programme in light of good performances or recoveryfrom injury.
The experienced Holder, who played with some success in 98 first-class matches since his debut as a teenager in 1986, said he did not think that was applicable to him.
"If I am not going to be included in the 38, I don't think I have anything to prove to anyone," said Holder, who scored 5 550 firstclass runs including 17 centuries at an average of 38.27.
"If I am not in the 38, there is no need to compete for anything," added the Barbados captain for the 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1999 firstclass championships.
It was, he said, an honour to have played for Barbados.
"I've always felt it is not your God-given right to play for your country," he said.
"It is something that you have to work at and perform during the season. It is an honour for someone to have consistently represented your country for as long as I have and at the level I have performed at."
Holder, however, expressed disappointment that the chairman of selectors did not personally contact him to inform him of his nonselection.
In addition to Holder, other notable omissions are wicket-keeper Corey Glasgow, batsman Sean Armstrong, all-rounder Antonio Mayers, legspinner Dave Marshall, fast bowlers Hendy Bryan, Dayne Maynard and Patterson Thompson.
The emphasis on youth is reflected by the inclusion of 15 teenagers and at least another eight who are under the age of 23.
The teenagers include eight Barbados youth team selectees for the forthcoming regional Under-19 championships captain Rohan Nurse, fellow batsmen Alcindo Holder and Kirk Edwards, all-rounders Kenroy Williams and Ryan Wiggins, along with fast bowlers Antonio Thomas, Ryan Nurse and Jason Bennett.
Off-spinner Ryan Austin and wicket-keeper Patrick Browne, both in England with the West Indies youth team have also been included.
The other teenagers are batsmen Jason Parris and Randy Thomas, leftarm spinner Anderson Sealy and pacer Ryan Best.
The squad is expected to form the nucleus of players who will represent Barbados in the 2001 Red Stripe Bowl limited-overs competition and the 2002 Busta Cup first-class championship.
"The expanded programme is an important component of the BCA's cricket development plan and builds on the Texaco-sponsored programme which has been in operation for the last two years," the BCA said yesterday.
"It is also a departure from the traditional approach of calling players to trials for a particular tournament and reflects the BCA's present policy of trying to develop a year-round programme to produce rounded and effective world-class cricketers."
A programme has been designed to ensure physical and medical fitness, improve all aspects of cricketing and mental skills and teach appropriate areas of nutrition, injury prevention and management.
It is also the intention to expose the squad to a whole range of life skills in an effort to prepare and create a modern, successful firstclass cricketer.
The squad includes players who may be overseas on various assignments but who are expected to the available for national selection.
"It is also to be noted that all players will be assessed on an ongoing basis and must work to keep themselves in the squad," the BCA said.