Jason Holder, Nicholas Pooran, Kyle Mayers turn down West Indies central contracts

Former captains Jason Holder and Nicholas Pooran, and allrounder Kyle Mayers, have turned down West Indies central contracts for 2023-24. The trio will however be available for T20I series during the year, Cricket West Indies (CWI) said in a statement announcing 14 men’s contracts and 15 women’s contracts.
In an age of increasing workloads and T20 franchise leagues providing players options to secure relative financial security, this is not the first instance of key players turning down West Indies contracts; Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo and Chris Gayle doing so as far back as 2010. In a high-profile case more recently, New Zealand’s pace spearhead Trent Boult gave up his central contract in August last year, but still turned out for his country at the 2023 World Cup. In October this year, Ben Stokes turned down a three-year contract with England, only signing up for one year instead.
It remains to be seen if this means Holder (32), who captained West Indies in 37 of his 64 Tests and 86 of his 138 ODIs, is done with the longer formats altogether. Pooran (28) has not played Test cricket, but has captained his side in 17 ODIs with 61 caps in the format. Mayers (31) has played 28 ODIs and 18 Tests, most famously hitting a double-hundred on Test debut to lead a weakened West Indies side to a stirring win chasing 395 against Bangladesh in Chattogram.
Mayers and Pooran were retained by Lucknow Super Giants for IPL 2024, though Holder was released by Rajasthan Royals and will be looking for a new deal at the auction on December 19. Pooran has a busy T20 season ahead, set to make his debut in January for Durban Super Giants at the SA20 before travelling to the UAE, having been retained by MI Emirates for the ILT20. Then there’s the IPL, leading into the Men’s T20 World Cup in June, which West Indies are co-hosting with USA.

CWI said the contracts list was drawn up taking into account “player performance during the 2022 to 2023 evaluation period” and recommendations from the selection panels.

“With a busy year of cricket ahead, in all three formats, we have held several detailed discussions with the head coaches on the brand of cricket they want to play,” West Indies men’s lead selector, Desmond Haynes, said. “We are very clear in the direction we want to go. The players who have been offered contracts are among those who we expect to feature, as we look to build towards challenging for the top spot when we host and compete in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 on home soil. We also have away Test series in Australia and England – these are two major assignments whilst in the 50-over format we look to build a nucleus of players aimed towards the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2027.”

West Indies women’s lead selector, Ann Browne-John, said: “We have emphasised the development of the younger players, which we view as pivotal in the pathway to the international level.”

West Indies men’s contracts for 2023-24

Alick Athanaze, Kraigg Brathwaite, Keacy Carty, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Joshua Da Silva, Shai Hope, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Brandon King, Gudakesh Motie, Rovman Powell, Kemar Roach, Jayden Seales, Romario Shepherd
Out: Jermaine Blackwood, Nkrumah Bonner, Jason Holder, Kyle Mayers, Obed McCoy, Nicholas Pooran, Odean Smith, Hayden Walsh Jr
In: Alick Athanaze, Keacy Carty, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Gudakesh Motie

West Indies women’s contracts for 2023-24

Aaliyah Alleyne, Shemaine Campbelle, Shamilia Connell, Afy Fletcher, Cherry-Ann Fraser, Shabika Gajnabi, Jannillea Glasgow, Sheneta Grimmond, Chinelle Henry, Zaida James, Mandy Mangru, Hayley Matthews, Karishma Ramharack, Stafanie Taylor, Rashada Williams

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