Englishman Richard Pybus will have his first match in charge of the West Indies when the Caribbean men take on England in the first of three test matches in Barbados starting on Wednesday morning. Pybus who was appointed interim coach earlier this month, says the series will be used as a benchmark.
Meanwhile, West Indies captain Jason Holder got another confidence booster ahead of his return to competitive cricket against England as he has been named in the ICC test team of the year. Holder who had his best year ever in international cricket in 2018 was named as the all-rounder in the ICC test team of the year with Indian's Virat Kohli as captain.
The 27 year old Bajan scored 336 runs in six tests in 2018 at an average of 37.33 with a highest-score of 74 while taking 33 wickets at an average of 11.87 representing the best bowling statistics in a single calendar year in test cricket in 100 years.
Holder who has been sidelined with a shoulder injury since November last year, returns to captain the West Indies in the upcoming three test series starting on Wednesday at the Kensington Oval in Barbados. He was the only West Indian named in the ICC test or one day team of the year. No England player made the test team of the year, despite James Anderson being second in the bowling rankings.
Meanwhile, Kohli was the toast of the ICC awards, collecting the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy
for Cricketer of the Year as well as being named the test player of the year and the ICC men's ODI player of the year. This is the first time a player has won all three prizes in the same year.
Among the other major winners were Indian wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant, who was named the emerging cricketer of the year. Aaron Finch's 172 off just 76 balls in Harare against Zimbabwe in July was chosen as the best T20 international knock of the year while Scotland's Calum McLeod was named ICC associate player of the year. Sri Lanka's Kumar Dharmasena was named the Umpire of the Year, while Kane Williamson won the spirit of cricket award.