West Indies Test captain Jason Holder has been hooked by his first taste of the Big Bash League and hopes to return next season.
Holder leaves Australia to return to the Caribbean on Wednesday after helping the Sydney Sixers to a thrilling win against the Melbourne Renegades on the Gold Coast.
Holder smashed 16 runs from the final over at Metricon Stadium on Tuesday night to give the Sixers a two-wicket win which propelled them to the top of the competition ladder.
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A bowling all-rounder, Holder stepped up to score an unbeaten 33 from 18 balls to steer the Sixers to victory against a team they had beaten by a record 145 runs just 16 days earlier.
While strict COVID-19 protocols have forced incoming international players into a mandatory 14-day quarantine that has kept some players away from the Twenty20 league, Holder was not deterred and has been thrilled with his first stint in the competition.
“For me, it‘s good to finish off on this note,” Holder said.
“I‘ve thoroughly enjoyed BBL cricket and hopefully I can return in the future.”
While he was the hero on Tuesday night, Holder admitted he was not on song from the start on a two-paced Metricon Stadium pitch.
“I wasn‘t timing it as well as I’d like up front and it was a bit of a struggle midway but the positive thing was I kept my wicket intact and I was there at the end,” he said.
“I knew if I was there at the end I‘d give myself a chance – I was just two hits away from bringing the game back within our grasp.”
The Renegades looked to have breathed new life into their faltering BBL season after taking 3-9 through the 18th and 19th over but Holder took to young quick Will Sutherland, who conceded 57 runs from his 3.5 overs.
The Barbadian had words of encouragement for the Renegades bowler though.
“It‘s just about execution in the end, and I guess I got the better of him today,” Holder said of the 21-year-old.
“But I understand, he‘s a youngster and it happens in cricket. When you’re entrusted to bowl the last overs – the big overs of games – these things happen, so my encouragement for him is to keep his head up.
“Trust me, you have those days and he‘ll have a few more of them, but the thing is just to (remember) the percentages – these are the tough situations to bowl in and these things are going to happen, and sometimes it goes for you and sometimes it goes against you.
“You have to keep learning and he will definitely learn from this experience, and I give him all my support.”