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West Indies captain Holder entirely focussed on game

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Dubai, Nov 6 (IANS) West Indies Test captain Jason Holder has said he is determined to avoid controversial off-the-field issues and focus on his main job of leading the Caribbean cricket side.

Responding to questions from media here on the decision by Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels and Carlos Brathwaite to decline central contracts, Holder reiterated he was powerless over such administrative matters and was more preoccupied with galvanising the West Indies' performances on the field, reports CMC.

All three players are members of the Test squad which finally won their first game in 19 months and first on foreign soil in four years, when they beat Pakistan by five wickets in the third and final Test in Sharjah on Thursday.

"As I've said about all the negative things around West Indies cricket, those things are basically beyond my control," said Holder.

"I can't control who signs contracts, I can't control who's here with me. All I can control is my destiny on the cricket field when I step over that line, and that goes for everybody in the dressing room."

The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) disclosed this week that the trio of Bravo, Samuels and Brathwaite had opted against retainer contracts, for the year-long period ending September next year.

Bravo is the leader of the West Indies batting group, averaging 40 from 49 Tests, while Samuels is the side's most senior player with 71 Tests and 187 One-Day Internationals (ODIs).

Brathwaite, the newly appointed Twenty20 skipper, is also a member of both the Test and ODI set-ups.

Their decision immediately raised question marks about their respectively futures but Holder said ultimately it was up to each payer to take responsibility for their performances and careers.

"Us players we have to be responsible for our own individual actions (and) take our own personal pride onto the cricket field and control cricket," he pointed out.

"At the end of the day, that's the only thing we can control and at the end of the day, cricket will be here to stay and it's been here before us. So , for me, we just go out there and control (what we can) by playing good cricket."

The West Indies wrapped up a difficult tour against Pakistan this week, losing the T20 and ODI series by 3-0 margins and succumbing 2-1 in the Test series.

They now head to Zimbabwe for the Tri-Nation Series involving Sri Lanka and the hosts, which bowls off November 14.

--IANS

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