Former West Indies Test captain and one of the world’s premier all-rounders, Jason Holder, opened up on the financial losses he has endured while missing multiple T20 leagues due to international commitments.
Holder, who took over the reigns for the West Indies at a very young age, had to manage a team short of several first-choice picks as they opted to instead ply their trade in leagues across the globe.
That was the toughest part of Jason Holder’s job, as he was having to lead against opposition of the highest quality without his team’s strongest resources available.
“Those are the hardest players to manage (those mostly unavailable for international games) because they’ve got options. Players who’ve been committed to West Indies cricket don’t have many options outside, probably, of myself no one has turned down other contracts to play for West Indies,” Jason Holder said in an interview with ‘Headstrong: An Innings With’.
“I could sit down here and safely say I’ve passed up a lot of money to play for West Indies. I could have been a lot more well off than I am. I consider myself really blessed because I’ve made a lot of money in my life for a guy my age…but I probably could have made a lot more but I’ve always had that desire to play for West Indies.”
“I’ve passed up a lot of money to play for WI”, Jason Holder on lure of T20 leagues and inner conflict
Jason Holder spoke honestly on his inner conflict, how he felt having to forego significant money to fulfil his desire and passion of representing the West Indies.
Holder did say, though, he isn’t at all disdainful towards others prioritising their livelihood and securing it through hefty contracts outside the international arena.
“Coming up there was never T20 cricket so the only way to make your mark was to play international cricket. I would honestly say I don’t know if I would make the same decisions if I was older at that stage,” said Holder.
“I always sympathise with the guy who’s at the middle stages of their careers. I played for West Indies when I was 21, I played first-class cricket when I was 17 years old. Those two things don’t happen very often.”
“I had age on my side. Whereas a guy might come into [the] West Indies [team] at 28 or 27. He’s got different scenario in front of him so I can’t be upset with a guy who wants to run around the world at 28 years old with an insecure future with West Indies cricket and miss out on an opportunity to make a living for himself on the circuit.”
For Jason Holder, cricket administrators in the Caribbean haven’t always managed things well with regards to the talent exodus from the region and also in looking after those players who have remained committed to West Indies’ cause.
“My disappointment, however, comes when players like myself give up so much to commit to West Indies cricket and then West Indies cricket isn’t as accommodating as they possibly can,” he said. “There have been a few instances where I’ve been very disappointed in how things were handled.”
Jason Holder admitted he has gotten more “selfish” with time as he can’t any longer deny more financially rewarding opportunities abroad, say from the Indian Premier League (IPL) in which he currently represents Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). Holder went on to reveal plans to “open up” his calendar, wherein he doesn’t quit West Indies cricket but also ensure he isn’t losing out on money elsewhere.
“At 29, I kind of fall into that middle phase of my career now. I’ve got to be a little bit more selfish now,” he said. “I’ve got the world in front of me in terms of options. I don’t have to play international cricket. I can play anywhere I want around the world. I’ve played in England with county cricket, I’ve played in Australia so opportunities are always in front of me in terms of making money.”
“I’ve always been a firm believer in that things will happen for me when they’re supposed to happen and I know I’ll make money, I can’t make back what I’ve lost but there’s a lot more money out there to be made.”
“I’m now at a crossroads where I’m not going to give up on West Indies cricket but I’ve got to think about how I can open up my calendar year for a few more tournaments around the world,” Jason Holder added.