‘You will constantly have players going towards more money’ – Jason Holder suggests ‘football model’ to save Test cricket

In a candid conversation with Hindustan Times, West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder shared insights into his decision to skip the away Test series against Australia and highlighted the challenges faced by players balancing international commitments and lucrative franchise opportunities.

Skipping Australia Tour for ILT20: Jason Holder, a key figure in West Indies cricket, explained that his decision to skip the Australia tour was a result of extensive discussions with Cricket West Indies. The 32-year-old, currently representing Dubai Capitals in the International League T20 (ILT20), emphasized that his choice to participate in franchise cricket did not signify a departure from Test cricket. Holder clarified that Test cricket remains his favorite format, and he intends to make himself available for future Test series.

Financial Challenges in West Indies Cricket: Addressing the financial challenges faced by West Indies cricket, Holder acknowledged that the team lags behind due to insufficient resources. He advocated for a dedicated window for Test cricket each year, allowing top players to be available for the format. Additionally, Holder stressed the importance of fair compensation for players, emphasizing that a more equitable distribution of funds would incentivize them to prioritize Test cricket.

Test Cricket Survival Strategy: Holder proposed a model similar to football, with distinct international and franchise windows. He suggested that such a structure could create a balanced ecosystem, preventing players from opting solely for lucrative franchise opportunities. The West Indies star emphasized the need for a minimum wage threshold in Test cricket to make it financially viable for players and ensure its continued relevance.

Professional Considerations: Acknowledging that cricket is both a passion and a profession, Holder emphasized the importance of players providing for their families. He pointed out that the current dilemma, where franchise leagues offer significantly higher compensation than Test cricket, leads players towards financial considerations. Holder advocated finding specific time pockets without clashes with domestic leagues, offering players more flexibility to balance their professional commitments.

In conclusion, Jason Holder’s perspective sheds light on the complex dynamics players face in choosing between international and franchise cricket. His call for a dedicated Test cricket window and fair compensation reflects the broader challenges that cricket administrators must address to sustain the allure of the longest format of the game.