Jason Holder, the captain of West Indies, has been suspended for the third Test due to slow over rate offence. Kraigg Brathwaite will lead the team. 

West Indies is all set to play the third and final Test against England in St. Lucia from February 9. Before that, they got a big blow with the exclusion of their captain Holder. They were two overs short of their target during the Test against England in Antigua.

Because of this, the captain of West Indies, Jason Holder has been suspended for one Test match and he has been fined 40 per cent of his match fee; while the other players have been fined 20 per cent of their match fees, due to a slow over-rate during the second Test in Antigua which ended on Saturday.

Jeff Crowe of the Emirates ICC Elite Panel of Match Referees has decided to suspend Holder after the Windies were two overs short of their target after time allowances were taken into consideration. According to the Article 2.22.1 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Players Support Personnel; which relates to the minor over-rate misdeed, players will be fined 10 per cent of their match fees for every slow over and the captain will be fined double the amount.

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This is not the first time that Holder has been suspended for a slow over-rate. The slow over rate offence forced him to miss the second Test against New Zealand in December 2017. Not only that, he has been suspended for the same reason during the Barbados Test against Sri Lanka in June 2018. This was his second minor over-rate offence in a Test match within a 12-month period.

Holder has played an important role in his side’s first ever series win in 10 years against England. In the first Test match in Barbados, he scored his career-best unbeaten 202 in the second innings and also picked up two wickets to help his team’s ravishing 381-run victory. In Antigua, he bagged a four-wicket haul to register West Indies’ 10-wicket victory and guided them to a series win against England for the first time since 2009.

As Holder accepted his offence and the proposed sanction, there was no need for a formal hearing for that. On-field umpires Kumar Dharmasena and Chris Gaffaney, third umpire Rod Tucker, all from the Emirate Elite Panel of ICC Umpires, and fourth official Joel Wilson were there in charge of that.

However, due to the absence of Holder in the team, the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) have announced his replacement. Kraigg Brathwaite will lead the team while fast bowler Keemo Paul has been named into the squad for the Test. Brathwaite has the experience of captaining the team. Earlier he had led West Indies in the team’s away Test series against India and Bangladesh in October-November 2018; where they lost by 2-0.

Paul has played two Tests so far and has three wickets to his name. He has performed brilliantly for Guyana, bagging 20 wickets in the last three first-class matches. He has also scored 142 runs there and proved to be a handy batsman as well.

“With Jason Holder missing out on the last Test, Kraigg Brathwaite will take the reins of captaincy,” said the Windies Chairman of Selectors, Courtney Browne on Monday (February 4). “We also welcome Keemo Paul back to the squad. He is having a good showing in the West Indies first-class championship at the moment,” Browne further added. “The panel also takes this opportunity to congratulate the team and the support staff for the series victory and wish them all the best for the third and final match of the series.”

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