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West Indies coach has no worries over Holder’s fitness

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MANCHESTER: West Indies head coach Phil Simmons had no qualms over the fitness of Jason Holder after the captain played a restricted role on the final day of his side’s first warm-up match ahead of next month’s Test series against England.

Holder led one team in a drawn intra-squad three-day game against Kraigg Brathwaite’s XI at Old Trafford.

But the Barbados paceman did not bowl on Thursday, although he was in the field on all three days, and on Wednesday he was lbw to Raymon Reifer for a golden duck.

Holder did not push himself up the order to get a bat on Thursday as the game ended in a draw, Brathwaite declaring 313 runs ahead before the Test skipper’s side finished on 149 for three.

But Simmons expects Holder to play a full part in next week’s second internal warm-up game as the West Indies continue their preparations in the run-up to the first Test at Southampton starting on July 8 — a match that will mark international cricket’s return from lockdown.

“Jason has had a slight niggle on his ankle and that is what has held him back from bowling, but that was always the plan for this match,” Simmons told the Press Association news agency. “He will be back to bowling in the four-day game and should be bowling his full quota. As for the batting, if you get one ball and you’re out, that’s all you can do.”

Meanwhile, Simmons was equally upbeat about the fitness of wicket-keeper Shane Dowrich, who left the field on Thursday afternoon session after injuring his side.

“Shane is fine,” said Simmons. “I’ll need to see the doctor to see exactly what is wrong but he seems to be doing fine.”

Published in Dawn, June 27th, 2020

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