Zone Blitz: What's to be done about racism in football?

By Mariah Ramharrack, Wayne Lewis& Lance Whittaker February 18, 2020

Porto striker Moussa Marega walked off the pitch during a match against Vitoria de Guimaraes Sunday after he was subjected to racist abuse from opposition fans.

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    West Indies Test captain Jason Holder has admitted that losing the captaincy of the region’s One Day International team has not been easy for him.

    Holder was replaced as captain of the ODI team last September by Kieron Pollard but was retained as a player. According to the former skipper, the transition from that leadership role has been tough.

    "To be quite honest, it has been tough transitioning back just as a player," Holder said on TalkSPORT recently.

    According to the former skipper, first he had to contend with getting back into the team.

    "In hindsight, it has been tough trying to understand how to get back in as just a player," he said.

    The switch from Holder to Pollard had caught the former by surprise, learning of it during last year’s Hero Caribbean Premier League, a tournament he went on to win as captain of the Barbados Tridents.

    "Yeah, it was an interesting time for me. I had found out earlier in the tournament that we have moved as one-day international captain. For me, it was just trying to win it [the CPL]," he said.

    Just prior to the switch and since, Holder has not proven very effective in the ODI version of the game, but says this is not a bother for him because he is acutely aware of his own ability.

    Many had suggested that Holder’s place in the team was in question and he would not be in it were he not captain.

    To date, Holder has taken 136 wickets in 111 innings at an average of 36.38, but in his last eight innings with the ball, he has not been able to get near those figures.

    In 10 innings prior to losing the captaincy, Holder had seven wickets at an average of 69.85, while in the eight he has played since, he has picked up six at an average of 66.16.

    "Performances obviously haven't been there as I would've probably liked, but I'm not too disheartened," Holder said. "I don't beat myself up. I don't get too worried because I know my ability. I know what I can produce. I just know that an innings is around the corner, a bowling effort is around the corner."

    According to the Test skipper, he may have been suffering from a bit of burnout, having played 62 matches in 2019.

    "I felt I needed the break after the India series [in December] particularly, just to refresh," Holder said.

    "I had played every single series in the entire year, I played county cricket as well, and my batteries needed a little bit of a recharge. Obviously, I needed some time to go and think about how I wanted to go forward as a player and try to work out again how just to be a player as opposed to being the captain."

  • Pollard rates performance against Australia in 2012 World Cup semi among his most memorable Pollard rates performance against Australia in 2012 World Cup semi among his most memorable

    West Indies ODI and T20 captain Kieron Pollard rates his quick-fire 38 against Australia in semi-finals of the 2012 ICC World Cup as one of the best and most important performances of his career.

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