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The Graduates – Jason Holder

He is now the captain of West Indies in Tests and ODIs, but just eight years ago he was playing at the ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup.
Jason Holder U19 CWC

Jason Holder was one of the star players for the West Indies at the 2010 Under 19 Cricket World Cup, helping his side finish in third place, behind winners Australia and runners-up Pakistan.

Holder's side did not have much preparation for the competition, which, like this years' edition, was held in New Zealand, but the West Indies improved as the tournament progressed, peaking late on to beat Sri Lanka to third place in Christchurch.

Playing in a side which included Jermaine Blackwood, Shane Dowrich, Evin Lewis and Kraigg Brathwaite, Holder's accurate right-arm seam bowling proved a vital weapon. The 18-year-old took outstanding figures of 5/19 in a Player of the Match performance to beat England in the quarter-finals, as well as 2/28 from his 10 overs in the semi-final defeat by Pakistan.

Jason Holder was part of the side who beat Sri Lanka to claim third place at the 2010 Under 19 World Cup
Jason Holder was part of the side who beat Sri Lanka to claim third place at the 2010 Under 19 World Cup

"I have fond memories of that tournament," Holder tells ICC. "I was able to play against guys like Mitchell Marsh, Joe Root, Ben Stokes and James Vince. These are quality players who have done well on the international circuit thus far and for me personally I just try to compete with them, because they are the best in the world.

"I want to be one of the best players in the world, so I don't want these guys to go ahead and leave me. I just try to keep up with the guys in my age group and push myself to be the best in the world."

Jason Holder looks back at his CWC memories

Holder is certainly doing a good job of keeping up with his peers. At the age of just 23 he had earned the captaincy in both ODIs and Test matches, and through his batting, bowling and leadership skills the Barbadian has pushed his country on.

Since 2014 the 26-year-old been a near ever-present in the two longest formats for the West Indies, taking 53 wickets and scoring 1,218 runs in 29 Tests, as well as claiming 91 wickets and 1,018 runs in 70 ODIs.

The next Under 19 World Cup is just around the corner, giving a whole new host of young players opportunities to launch international careers. Who will the next to follow in Holder's footsteps?  

The ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup in New Zealand gets underway on Saturday 13 January.

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