CHEMAR Holder can’t believe the opportunity to make his debut for West Indies is on the horizon.
The uncapped Chemar, 22, is among several fast bowlers in the West Indies squad preparing for a three-match Test series against England bowling off on July 8. Chemar would play alongside seasoned campaigners Jason Holder, Shannon Gabriel and Kemar Roach. Chemar’s former West Indies Under-19 team-mate Alzarri Joseph is also in the squad.
Chemar, speaking with journalists on Zoom on Tuesday, said, “It means a lot to me (to play for West Indies) because coming up as a youngster it is something I always wanted to do and being here right now a couple years later, I still can’t believe it. I can’t believe that it is happening right now, so it means a lot to me and my family.”
On learning from the more experienced bowlers on the team, he said, “It is great (learning from them) because I know anything I want to know, I know that I can ask them and they would give me the information.”
The young fast bowler said he has been told that Test cricket is a much higher level of cricket. “Also, I have learnt a few things in terms of firstly how hard Test cricket is and you got to stay strong in terms of your mind and you just got to keep putting in work and keep putting in the effort.”
Chemar and Joseph were part of the West Indies team which lifted the 2016 International Cricket Council Under-19 50-Over World Cup title. “It is great actually being on the same team with Alzarri once again.” Joseph also has some experience under his belt with 25 wickets in nine Test matches.
Chemar, playing for Barbados Pride, was the most prolific fast bowler in the 2019/2020 Regional Four-Day tournament with 36 wickets, finishing tied second overall with TT Red Force spinner Akeal Hosein. Guyana Jaguars spinner Veerasammy Permaul was the top bowler with 50 wickets. “I have a lot of confidence coming off the regional four-day competition that just gone, but also I have to be mindful that it’s different conditions that we playing in so I am still doing a lot of homework and a lot of preparation leading up to the first Test.”
Chemar has been targeted as one of the most promising young bowlers in the region.
Asked how he is managing those expectations, he said, “I know my ability, I know what I can do so going out there when given the opportunity I am just going to stay focused and do what I have to. I would not put a lot of pressure on myself going into whatever game I play. So basically for me it is just stay focused and stay patient.”