One of the first set of players to play one-day cricket for the West Indies, Vanburn Alonzo Holder was a fast-medium bowler who played for the regional team between 1969 and 1979. He played in the transition period for the West Indies, where they moved from being a good, competitive team to being world-beaters in the late 70s.
Born on October 10 1945 in St. Michael, Barbados, Vanburn-better known as Van-made his First Class debut for Barbados as a 21-year old. His first Test for the West Indies-against England at old Trafford, Manchester-was just two years later, in 1969. The Barbadian medium pacer had an average debut-taking only one wicket as the West Indies lost by 10 wickets.
Holder's best Test haul in a match was 8/223 against Australia at Adelaide, where the Caribbean team lost by 190 runs. It was against the Aussies in Port of Spain that Holder produced a match-winning effort while taking career-best innings figures. He scalped 7 Aussie wickets for 44 runs to help the Windies to a 198-run win. In 40 Tests, and bowling in 72 innings, the Barbadian took 109 wickets at an average of 33.27. His strike rate of 83.4 suggests that he was more of a stock bowler than a penetrative strike bowler. Vanburn took more than five wickets in an innings on three occasions.
With the bat, Holder was handy but not spectacular. Like his bowling, his batting was composed, but he never scored a half-century in Tests. His best effort of 42 came against New Zealand at Port of Spain in 1972. Batting in 59 innings, "Van" managed 682 runs at an average of 14.20. In addition to his 40 Tests, the medium pacer played 12 ODIs, including the West Indies' inaugural one-day international in 1973. Holder played in the Caribbean's winning 1975 World Cup team. From his 12 ODIs, he reaped 19 wickets at an average of 23.89 and an economy rate of exactly 4.00 runs per over.
For the West Indies, Barbados, Orange Free State (South Africa) and Worcestershire, Holder played 313 First Class games. He scored 3593 runs at 12.97, with a best of 12 for Barbados. In the bowling column, his medium pace bowling brought him 950 wickets at 34.52, with a best innings analysis of 7/40. After his playing days ended in 1986, Vanburn Holder become involved in officiating and later became a First Class umpire.
And now you can read brief profiles of some of the best spinners and fast bowlers that the game of cricket has ever seen:
The best spin bowlers in cricket history: http://www.helium.com/items/1516046-best-spin-bowlers-in-cricket
The top 5 fast bowlers in cricket history: http://www.helium.com/items/1518569-top-fast-bowlers-in-cricket-history