Jason Holder gets nod to start for Otago Volts
Jason Holder's casual chat with the Otago Volts' Black Caps brigade this week has quickly led to the West Indian bowler bracing himself for New Zealand's domestic Twenty20 final, in Hamilton, on Saturday night.
The 2.01m 22-year-old has been one of the West Indies better players during their current tour of New Zealand.
During a conversation with some of the Volts' New Zealand players this week Holder suggested he'd be keen to help them in Saturday night's Twenty20 decider against the winner of tomorrow night's Canterbury-Northern playoff game.
Following discussions players then contacted the Volts management who quickly acted, ticking all the boxes to get him signed in time.
The West Indies played their final game of the tour in Wellington last night and Holder will join the Volts team when they arrive in Hamilton tomorrow.
No New Zealand players are available for the final because they are scheduled to play against India in the first one-day international, in Napier, on Sunday.
Holder's CV includes appearances for the West Indies, Barbados and the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League and the Champions League.
In 35 Twenty20 matches, Holder has 29 wickets at an economy rate of 7.33.
Otago Cricket Association boss Ross Dykes conceded some will question the decision to bring a player in for the final ahead of a player that has been there all season.
However, he said they had a competition to win and Holder's presence outweighed those perceived negatives.
He said with Nathan McCullum, Jimmy Neesham and Ian Butler all missing from their bowling stocks they needed to give themselves the best chance of winning on Saturday night and that was to add another quality bowler to the mix.
"We consulted our squad and told them what we were doing and made sure they were comfortable with it, because they have the right to know and a right to voice their opinion, but they were certainly supportive of it," Dykes said.
The question turns to which player misses out and everything points to Sam Wells as the most likely omission from the playing 11.
The all-rounder's omission would lengthen the tail but Wells has not contributed a lot with the bat this season and has only been required to bowl three overs.
The winner of Saturday night's final will book a ticket to the cash-laden Champions League tournament in India.
If the Volts did win with Holder in their 11 they would also be able to call him for that tournament.
Dykes admitted potential Champions League qualification now added a whole new element to New Zealand domestic cricket and moves like signing Holder for the decider highlighted that.
Each team in New Zealand's Twenty20 competition are allowed two overseas imports in their playing 11 and Holder will join Ryan ten Doeschate to make up the Volts overseas duo in the final.
The Southland Times