West Indies, who looked unlikely quarter-finalists at the start of the World Cup, lurched into the knockout phase of the tournament on the final day of pool play with a six-wicket victory over United Arab Emirates.
A bitter row between players and administrators late last year forced the cancellation of a series in India and when the squad was named for the World Cup, all-rounders Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard were left out.
Their omission prompted fury from team mates, most notably opening batsman Chris Gayle who labelled the decision ‘ridiculous’ and as ‘victimisation’ after the pair had been seen as the chief protagonists in the war with the administrators.
West Indies appointed the 23-year-old Holder as captain for the January series in South Africa, which they lost 4-1, and when they lost their first World Cup match against Ireland in Nelson, the doom and gloom merchants started circling.
Holder, however, said a victory in Saturday’s quarter-final at Wellington Regional Stadium would be seen as an important turn-around for the side.
“Obviously there have been obstacles and obviously there will be difficult times,” Holder told reporters at the Basin Reserve on Friday.
“(The quarter-final) is a huge thing for us. People pretty much wrote us off at the beginning of the tournament.
“They didn’t expect us to get to the quarter-final stage and now we’re here. We’re just going out all guns blazing tomorrow and just giving it our all.”