Blood biopsies offer early warning of cancer’s return Editor’s Note: Enrollment in the PATHFINDER study is temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.In a study involving thousands of participants, a new blood test detected more than 50 types of cancer as well as their location within the body with a high degree of accuracy, according to an international team of researchers led by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, a Harvard affiliate, and the Mayo Clinic.The results, published online today by the Annals of Oncology, indicate that the test — which identified some particularly dangerous cancers that lack standard approaches to screening — can play a key role in early detection of cancer. Early detection can often be critical to successful treatment.Developed by Grail, Inc., of Menlo Park, Calif., the test uses next-generation sequencing to analyze the arrangement of chemical units called methyl groups on the DNA of cancer cells. Adhering to specific sections of DNA, methyl groups help control whether genes are active or inactive. In cancer cells, the placement of methyl groups, or methylation pattern, is often markedly different from that of normal cells — to the extent that abnormal methylation patterns are even more characteristic of cancer cells than genetic mutations are. When tumor cells die, their DNA, with methyl groups firmly attached, empties into the blood, where it can be analyzed by the new test.“Our previous work indicated that methylation-based tests outperform traditional DNA-sequencing approaches to detecting multiple forms of cancer in blood samples,” said Dana-Farber’s Geoffrey Oxnard, co-lead author of the study with Minetta Liu of the Mayo Clinic. “The results of this study suggest that such assays could be a feasible way of screening people for a wide variety of cancers.”In the study, investigators used the test to analyze cell-free DNA (DNA from normal and cancerous cells that had entered the bloodstream upon the cells’ death) in 6,689 blood samples, including 2,482 from people diagnosed with cancer and 4,207 from people without cancer. The samples from patients with cancer represented more than 50 cancer types, including breast, colorectal, esophageal, gallbladder, bladder, gastric, ovarian, head and neck, lung, lymphoid leukemia, multiple myeloma, and pancreatic cancer. Tests that look for hundreds of tumor mutations may detect residual disease in patients after treatment Related Chan School’s Rebbeck highlights cancer’s complex picture Drop in cancer deaths lifts U.S. life expectancy The overall specificity of the test was 99.3 percent, meaning that only 0.7 percent of the results incorrectly indicated that cancer was present. The sensitivity of the assay for 12 cancers that account for nearly two-thirds of U.S. cancer deaths was 67.3 percent, meaning the test could find the cancer two-thirds of the time but a third of the time the test returned a negative result. Within this group, the sensitivity was 39 percent for patients with stage I cancer, 69 percent for those with stage II, 83 percent for those with stage III, and 92 percent for those with stage IV. The stage I-III sensitivity across all 50 cancer types was 43.9 percent. When cancer was detected, the test correctly identified the organ or tissue where the cancer originated in more than 90 percent of cases — critical information for determining how the disease is diagnosed and managed.“Our results show that this approach to testing cell-free DNA in blood can detect a broad range of cancer types at virtually any stage of the disease, with specificity and sensitivity approaching the level needed for population-level screening. The test can be an important part of clinical trials for early cancer detection,” said Oxnard, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.The study was funded by Grail, Inc. As part of further validation research, Dana-Farber has joined a multi-center clinical trial of the test. The PATHFINDER study intends to enroll about 6,200 participants across the U.S. Participants in the study will have the results of the test communicated to them.
Star Files If/Then Tony winner Idina Menzel is gearing up to sing the phenomenal Frozen anthem “Let It Go” live on the Oscars on March 2. Watch as the If/Then star talks about why the song has millions of obsessed fans, including at a massive sing-along event on Good Morning America on February 26. (Watch that below, too!) Menzel even laughs that her four-year-old son, Walker Diggs, likes to belt out the unforgettable number in the bathtub. (We need a YouTube video of that stat!) As for her excitement and nerves about performing on the Academy Awards telecast, Menzel said, “This is a dream come true. I am just having fun with it.” Catch the interview and the sing-along below. Related Shows View Comments Show Closed This production ended its run on March 22, 2015 Idina Menzel
By Clint Waltz Georgia Extension Service In your yard, you may consider mowing a necessary evil. But when you do it right, mowing can be the single greatest contributor to a good-looking lawn.Mowing affects a turf’s density, texture, color and uniformity. But few people understand its real benefits. Even if you water and fertilize your lawn correctly, its overall quality is compromised if you don’t mow it properly.Mow for your grass typeDifferent turf grasses require different mowing heights. Hybrid Bermuda grasses, for instance, should be mowed every three to four days to keep them at 0.5 to 1.5 inches high. Keeping the slower-growing centipede turf at 1 to 2 inches requires mowing only every five to 10 days.Other turfs’ best mowing heights and frequencies include: Zoysia, 0.75 to 2 inches, three to seven days. Common Bermuda, 1 to 2 inches, five to seven days. Tall Fescue, 2 to 3 inches, five to seven days. St. Augustine, 2 to 3 inches, five to seven days.Mowing heights and frequencies can change, of course, depending on fertilization and soil moisture. But mowing at the wrong height can harm the turf’s rooting, which in turn affects how the shoots grow and take up water.Mowing carefully decreases disease and other problems, tooWeeds and diseases are more likely, too, if you cut the grass too high or, more commonly, too low. Cut at the proper height, a turf grass’s canopy can reduce the light penetrating to the soil, making it harder for weed seeds to germinate.Improper mowing can make a lawn less tolerant of stresses like temperature extremes and traffic, too. No question about it: for a healthy lawn, use the correct mowing height.Time mowing properlyMow the lawn with a sharp blade when the grass is dry. This spreads the clippings better and keeps down diseases. Mowing wet turf causes clumps of clipped grass to remain on the lawn, which limits sunlight from reaching the leaf blades. The resulting yellow spots can be pretty ugly.Mowing when the soil is too wet can also compact the soil more and can slow the grass’s rooting.Mulching v. baggingYou may wonder whether you should bag your lawn clippings. If you mow it properly, leaving the clippings is a good idea. In fact, there are several advantages to leaving the clippings.For one thing, clippings build up the soil organic matter, which makes it easier for water to move into the soil and helps the soil retain water and nutrients.There’s no evidence that returning clippings to the turf can help build up harmful thatch. Soil microbes efficiently break down the clippings into organic matter. And the decomposition process can reduce nitrogen needs by 25 percent.Don’t let clippings blow into storm water systems or surface waters, though. This can clog systems and pollute water sources. If the clippings need to be bagged, try composting and using them as a soil conditioner or mulch.Follow the ‘one-third’ ruleDecide when to mow based on the “one-third rule.” Never remove more than one-third of the leaf tissue at any one mowing. Removing more than that or cutting the turf too low can lead to a weak turf stand, decreased rooting and a host of other preventable problems.A good guide is to mow the turf when it is 50 percent taller than the desired height. For example, if your turf should be maintained at 2 inches high, mow it when it reaches 3 inches.Letting the grass overgrow the “one-third rule” hurts the turf. But mowing too often is harmful, too. Mowing too often can allow diseases to enter the leaf tips more easily. Other negatives include increased wear, soil compaction, labor expense and wear-and-tear on mowing equipment. Volume XXVII Number 1 Page 20
National Summit Participants Praise New Ballot as a Solution to ContinuingProblems for Americans Away from Home Who Want to VoteWashington, D.C. – An estimated six million Americans who are members of themilitary or live overseas have a new way to ensure their vote for presidentcounts this November, according to experts speaking at a high-level summiton military and overseas voters. Attended by members of Congress,secretaries of state and other election officials, “Democracy at a Distance:A Summit to Make Voting Work for Military and Overseas Voters” was convenedby the Pew Center on the States, in collaboration with the JEHT Foundation.At the summit, Pew, the Overseas Vote Foundation, JEHT and Bear Code (aVermont company that builds custom online software) launched a new onlinetool that allows voters to complete the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot(FWAB) more easily and with fewer errors. This tool can be used byAmericans covered under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee VotingAct who have requested an absentee ballot from election officials but havenot yet received it.The need to help military and overseas voters is supported by a newbipartisan Tarrance/Lake poll commissioned by the Pew Center on the Statesand released at the summit. It found 96% of Americans believe it’simportant that these voters get the chance to participate and vote in U.S.elections. The poll results also show that 81% of Americans favor creatinga uniform national set of rules for military and overseas voters.The new FWAB tool, available at www.overseasvotefoundation.org(link is external), provides animmediate solution for registered voters whose ballots are late or lost intransit. The site offers easy access to the “Vote-Print-Mail” system.”Military and overseas voters do not share an equal opportunity to vote,”said Michael Caudell-Feagan, director of Make Voting Work, a project of thePew Center on the States. “According to research from the U.S. ElectionAssistance Commission, only one-third of the nearly one million ballotsmailed to these voters were cast or counted in the 2006 general election.FWAB is a powerful tool for these voters.””It is unacceptable in this day and age that administrative hurdles shouldimpede the counting of overseas military and civilian votes,” said NicoleGordon, vice president of the JEHT Foundation, which has supported theOverseas Vote Foundation in efforts to partner with states to facilitate theregistration process for overseas voters. “The launch of the FWAB tool is asignificant step in easing and modernizing this outdated process.”The FWAB tool works by matching users’ 9-digit zip code for their U.S.residence to their voting district. The system automatically presentscandidate lists for federal races in one’s district. Voters select theircandidates for office and then download, print, sign and send the FWAB intothe local election office.”Through our help desk, I’ve heard thousands of stories from voters who havebeen frustrated during presidential campaigns as they anxiously waited fortheir absentee ballots to arrive,” said Susan Dzieduszycka-Suinat, Presidentand CEO of Overseas Vote Foundation. “The new FWAB tool replaces that worrywith an immediate, user-friendly, online and secure process that overseasand military voters from all 50 states and the District of Columbia can use.”For more information about the challenges facing overseas voters, visitpewcenteronthestates.org and download “Military and Overseas Citizen VotingProject,” an overview developed by the Pew Center on the States.The new FWAB tool, as well as the entire Overseas Vote Foundation system,was developed by Bear Code over the course of the last year.
An Islamist group that has led protests claims the government has endorsed a boycott of French products.- Advertisement –
To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters
While UK politicians have voted against a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, much uncertainty remains about the outcome with more parliamentary votes to come and the approval of the EU yet to be secured. Hogan Lovells’ Faye Jarvis explores the risks for UK trusteesKey pointsUK trustees have a duty to review the effect of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit and should understand the impact on the sponsor’s businessEU data transfer and overseas payments are potential issuesRestrictions on insurers could affect cross-border paymentsTrustees should discuss contingencies with non-EU managers and advisers if they have not already done soContingent asset claims in EU entities could be complex to enforce in practice DataTrustees should actively consider whether any of their members’ data is transferred to countries in the EU and, if so, seek advice on whether any action needs to be taken to ensure data can continue to flow in the event of a no-deal Brexit. (L-R) Dominic Raab, UK minister for exiting the EU, and Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, at a press conference last yearA number of steps are being taken by both the UK and individual jurisdictions in the EU to try and minimise any possible disruption. For example, the UK government has announced that it intends to help EU firms continue to do business with UK clients, at least for a transitional period, by giving them temporary permissions and, more recently, the Financial Conduct Authority has signed a “multilateral MoU” with regulators in the remaining 27 EU member states to facilitate co-operation and information-sharing across areas of financial services including the asset management industry. However, uncertainty still remains.While a no-deal Brexit should not prevent trustees using EU structures – for example a fund domiciled in an EU member state, such as an Irish UCITS fund – in a no-deal scenario, a trustee’s UK investment advisers and managers may be more restricted in terms of the activities they can carry out in the EU.The position may also be different in different jurisdictions, as although EU countries are passing legislation to allow UK financial services companies to continue to carry on their activities in a no deal Brexit, they are not doing so on the same terms. At this stage, trustees should speak to their investment advisers and managers to understand any potential impact. On a slightly separate note, it is unclear whether some pension schemes may have to start clearing derivative transactions and so this is another area that trustees will need to monitor with their investment advisers.Contingent assetsFinally, if we do end up with no-deal Brexit, trustees with contingent assets from a European entity may want to take advice on how easy it will be to enforce a claim against that asset.While a no-deal Brexit should not automatically result in any contingent assets terminating, it may mean that any claim under the contingent asset agreement becomes more difficult to enforce – particularly if there is a dispute and the parties cannot agree which courts should hear the matter.The UK has recently signed up to the Hague Convention on Choice of Law Agreements to ensure that clauses in new agreements granting the English courts exclusive jurisdiction over any dispute continue to be recognised. However, it is less clear what the position will be for existing agreements in the event of a no-deal Brexit.With two weeks to go until the UK’s scheduled departure from the EU and the threat of a no-deal Brexit still looming (albeit reduced), there are several issues of varying complexity and significance for trustees to be aware of and actively engage with.The best advice at this stage may well be to seek advice on how to mitigate against any complications arising from the EU and the UK failing to ratify an exit deal. Faye Jarvis is a partner at Hogan Lovells “Brexit may mean that any claim under a contingent asset agreement becomes more difficult to enforce”Faye Jarvis, Hogan LovellsIn this scenario, cross-border transfers of data between the UK and EU will no longer automatically be permitted. The UK has confirmed that it would continue to allow personal data to be transferred to the EU, although this would be kept under review. This should make it possible to transfer data to a processor in the EU, provided there is a data processing agreement in place.The position is more difficult where both parties are data controllers. The EU would need to grant the UK an “adequacy decision” in order to allow data controllers in the EU to transfer data to the UK, which is unlikely in a no-deal scenario and the EU won’t make a decision on this until after Brexit.In these circumstances, further contractual arrangements would need to be put in place to ensure the flow of data across borders can continue.Overseas paymentsAnother cross-border issue that should be on trustees’ radar is payments to pensioners living overseas. There are two possible areas of concern: payments to pensioners from an occupational pension scheme, and payments to pensioners from a buyout.With regard to the former, in a no-deal Brexit it will still be possible for trustees to pay pensioners living in the EU by payment to an EU bank account. However, these payments may take longer because, post-Brexit, the UK will not be subject to the Payment Services Directive, which requires that all intra-EU payments must be made no later than the next working day. After Brexit, it is possible that payment times might take longer for non-EU institutions. That said, there is no reason why UK and EU banks cannot continue on a ‘next-working-day’ basis. Fees could also rise for payments into the EU.To mitigate potential administrative delays, trustees should keep a close watch and consider alerting overseas pensioners if there are going to be any significant changes to the date of receipt of pension payments.BuyoutMuch has already been made of the fact that, post-Brexit, an insurer authorised in the UK may be prohibited from paying annuities to members living in the EU.A UK insurer would also be prohibited from issuing individual policies to pensioners or deferred members located in the EU, which in theory could make things difficult for schemes looking to towards a buyout.Insurers are already looking at how to address this issue and some EU countries may introduce legislation to allow payments to be made, at least in the short term – but there is no consistent approach.Trustees considering a buy-in or buyout, and with members who are resident in EU countries, should discuss this with their insurer to understand how they will manage this issue.Cross-border providersInvestment advisers and managers, both in the UK and in the EU, are similarly grappling with how a no-deal Brexit will impact on their ability to provide services to their UK pension scheme clients. One of the biggest risks for pension schemes in a ‘no-deal’ Brexit scenario is an adverse impact on the employer covenant. The Pensions Regulator (TPR) recently issued a statement that “trustees should undertake a review of any actions or contingency plans in the context of ‘no deal’, if they have not already done so”. Adopting a ‘wait and see’ approach is no longer an option. If they have not already done so, trustees should engage with employers to understand what impact a no-deal Brexit could have on their business and what plans they have in place to mitigate these risks.
Wenger, however, insists there are no plans for a repeat move this season. “At the moment Thierry is invited just to practise when he can and when he wants,” said the Arsenal manager. “We have a big staff, a very competent one, and we have the right number to support the team to achieve the targets. “Thierry is a player, one day certainly it will be different, but at the moment no.” Henry signed from Juventus in 1999 and went on to help the Gunners to Premier League success as part of Arsene Wenger’s Invincibles side of 2003/2004 before leaving for Barcelona in the summer of 2007. During his loan spell last year, Henry scored both against Leeds in the FA Cup and then a winner in stoppage-time at Sunderland on his last appearance. The presence of such inspirational former players can only have a positive impact on the current squad, who moved four points clear at the top of the Barclays Premier League with victory over Southampton on Saturday. Wenger said: “They have no real target to bring something, they just want to enjoy themselves and keep their fitness. Manager Arsene Wenger has ruled out a move to bring former striker Thierry Henry back to Arsenal for a third spell, but will always welcome old players to the club’s training complex. Press Association Both 36-year-old Henry – now playing for the New York Red Bulls in the United States – and former midfielder Robert Pires, who turned 40 last month, have been using the Gunners’ Hertfordshire base to help keep up their fitness levels. Henry, Arsenal’s all-time record scorer with 228, returned to Arsenal for a loan spell in January 2012. “Usually they don’t practise with the first team, because they come in and work on fitness. “It is a little bit less competitive, but when we have some room we invite them to play with us. “They integrate well [with] the spirit of the team.”
Guidolin’s appointment was confirmed before kick-off and the former Parma, Palermo and Udinese coach took his place in the stand as Swansea sought to escape the bottom three. The 60-year-old, who has brought in the former Chelsea midfielder Gabriele Ambrosetti to assist, will work alongside interim manager Alan Curtis, though the Italian will have the final say on team selection. Guidolin witnessed a pretty drab opening with Jack Cork’s wayward effort the only shot in the first 20 minutes. Watford barely mustered an attack in the first half but might have been awarded a penalty after 21 minutes when Kyle Naughton handled right on the edge of the area. Odion Ighalo failed to direct his header goalwards under pressure from Federico Fernandez but, as Jose Manuel Jurado kept the move going, Naughton appeared to move his arm towards the ball. Watford appeals were conspicuous by their absence, however, and the Hornets were soon behind after Andre Ayew had tested Hornets goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes for the first time. Ki Sung-yueng retrieved a loose ball down the right and his cross was met by Williams, who took advantage of Miguel Britos misjudging the flight by directing his header goalwards for the first goal from any Swansea defender since March 2014. It was only the fifth time Swansea had scored the first goal in 22 Premier League matches this term but it prompted a surge in confidence with the Watford defence at full stretch not to concede a second. Jurado tried to spark Watford into life either side of the break with attempts from distance and Britos went close when he sent Ben Watson’s delicious free-kick on to the roof of the net. Cork volleyed over for Swansea but there was an anxiety about their play which reflected the importance of the situation. With main striker Ayew dropping ever deeper to influence matters, there was no central figure to hold the ball up and the lively Jurado fired wide as Watford pushed for an equaliser. But Swansea saw their own penalty shout ignored when Watson leaned into Neil Taylor’s shot with referee Michael Oliver adjudging the contact was more shoulder than arm. Watford came within inches of equalising late on when Juardo almost punished Taylor’s error but Swansea substitute Bafetimbi Gomis struck a post in stoppage time as they held on to move a point above Newcastle into 17th place. TWEET OF THE MATCH ” Incredible – a #Swans defender scores a goal for the first time in 22 months. Ki cross, Williams rises to nod home from eight yards 1-0 27m” – South Wales Evening Post reporter Gareth Vincent registers his surprise at source of Swansea’s winner. PLAYER RATINGS Swansea Lukasz Fabianski 6 (out of 10) Kyle Naughton: 6 Federico Fernandez: 7 Ashley Williams: 8 Neil Taylor: 7 Leon Britton: 7 Jack Cork: 7 Ki Sung-yueng: 5 Wayne Routledge: 6 Gylfi Sigurdsson: 7 Andre Ayew: 7 Substitutes Modou Barrow (on for Routledge 66mins): 6 Bafetimbi Gomis (on for Ayew 82mins): 6 Jordi Amat (on for Ki 87mins): 6 Watford Heurelho Gomes: 6 Allan Nyom: 6 Miguel Britos: 5 Craig Cathcart: 6 Nathan Ake: 5 Ben Watson: 7 Etienne Capoue: 5 Jose Manuel Jurado: 7 Valon Behrami: 6 Troy Deeney: 6 Odion Ighalo: 5 Substitutes Juan Carlos Paredes (on for Nyom 74mins): 6 Obbi Oulare (on for Behrami 88mins): 6 STAR MAN ASHLEY WILLIAMS: Grabbed the all-important Swansea winner with his first goal for nearly two years and his first in the Premier League at the Liberty Stadium. But the captain was just as important at the other end as he dealt with a succession of crosses which came his way and kept a cool head when the pressure was really on. MOMENT OF THE MATCH Tempting to say the final whistle as the relief which poured out from Swansea supporters shook the Liberty Stadium to its foundations. But Williams’ well-directed header was the stand-out moment, as much for as its rarity value as bagging three precious points to take the hosts out of the bottom three. VIEW FROM THE BENCH Interim manager Alan Curtis was taking charge of the team for the last time with new head coach Francesco Guidolin sat in the stand and set to pick the team from now on. Curtis must have been delighted with the effort from his players who gave him a second win in seven league matches. But it’s now four straight defeats for Watford and manager Quique Sanchez Flores must be concerned by the Hornets’ slump with the Igahlo/Deeney partnership suddenly firing blanks. MOAN OF THE MATCH The lack of quality. It is probably true to say standards are going to suffer when so much at stake and Swansea’s renowned passing game has certainly disappeared during their current relegation strife. But for much of this contest possession was frittered away too cheaply and the quality was not becoming of the “greatest league in the world”. WHO’S UP NEXT? Watford v Newcastle (Premier League, January 23) Everton v Swansea (Premier League, January 24) Swansea skipper and match-winner Williams was delighted to secure a vital three points for his side and take them out of the bottom three. “It’s massive, I think all the games are big for us now. We need points as quick as possible and try to move up the table to get out of this situation,” he told Sky Sports 1. The 31-year-old centre-half also revealed the playing staff knew Francesco Guidolin was going to be appointed Swansea head coach last night. Williams admitted that a new boss on the horizon may have been a factor behind an improved performance, but also paid tribute to caretaker boss Alan Curtis and said the players wanted to end his spell in style. “We heard the news last night and obviously everyone got on to Google and did their research and tried to find out as much as they can about him,” he added. “It looks like he’s got a good record. He’ll have been watching tonight so I think it gave everyone at the club a bit of a lift to go out and try and show what you can do, but also for Curt (Alan Curtis) as well who has done an amazing job.” Curtis thought his side were well worth the points, saying: “I thought so. In the first half especially I thought we controlled the game and it was one of our better performances of the season I’d say, but obviously we were a bit more tentative second half but I think that’s just the way it is at the moment.” When asked about Guidolin he added: “For the new manager looking in he can sort of assess what he’s seen, but I would have thought he would be more than pleasantly surprised with what he saw.” Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores was disappointed with his side’s first-half display and the result, but pointed out that they were much improved after the break. “I was disappointed in the first half that we lost a bit of balance,” he said. “But I’m really happy with the performance in the second half. They had pressure with the ball they had.” A rare Ashley Williams goal, headed home from inside the six-yard box after 27 minutes, was enough to give Swansea only a third win in 18 league attempts and lift them out of the bottom three at the expense of Newcastle. It was far from pretty at times but that will not worry a Swansea side who inflicted a fourth straight league defeat on a Watford side suffering their worst run of the season. New Swansea head coach Francesco Guidolin saw his side ease their Barclays Premier League relegation worries with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Watford. Press Association
(CMC) – West Indies Test captain Jason Holder says he hopes to leave a legacy of being one of the greats in the longest format, but is cognizant of the need to sustain very high standards if he is to achieve that goal.Already, the 28-year-old has become one of the contemporary faces of the Test format, and is currently the number one all-rounder in the International Cricket Council (ICC) rankings.And though pointing out he enjoyed all three formats, Holder said he placed considerable emphasis on Test cricket which remained the measure of all cricketers.“Test cricket is the ultimate game for me,” Holder told TalkSport’s Cricket Collective.“Growing up there was only Test cricket and 50-over cricket, to be fair, and you always were marked and critiqued on your performance in Test cricket – you became a legend of the game through Test cricket.“I don’t think many people would stand out as being legends of the game via the one-day route but obviously with the advent of T20 cricket, there is a debate now with white-ball versus red-ball cricket but still I think red-ball cricket would take precedence, and I just want to be remembered for being a great Test match cricketer and not only a great Test match cricketer per se but a great cricketer.“In order to do that, you’ve got to be consistent, and more than likely every time you step on the park you’re being scrutinised and marked. So for me it’s about keeping my standards high and making sure I’m doing everything in my power to win cricket games for whoever I’m representing.”Holder shot to stardom last year when he struck a monumental unbeaten 202 to propel West Indies to a crushing victory over England in the opening Test at Kensington Oval last January.In reaching triple figures for the third time in his career, he became the first West Indies number eight to score a doubl-century in Tests and the first Windies captain since Brian Lara in 2004, to notch a double against England.Only the previous year, fast bowler Holder had captured 33 wickets at an average of 12.39 – the best average in a calendar for nearly a century. He currently averages 32 with the bat from 40 Tests and 26 with the ball.Though Holder averaged 49 with the bat and took 20 wickets at 17 apiece in Tests last year, he believes there was still much improvement needed.““I think if I look at it from a holistic point of view of all three formats, I don’t think it was my best year,” he explained.“I try to mark myself pretty hard and try to set pretty high standards as well. So coming off of 2018 where I felt I had the best year of my cricketing career, I think I probably fell back a little in 2019 but it’s a new year in 2020 – 2019 is behind us and for me it’s just getting myself attuned back to playing international cricket.“Hopefully we can get some Test cricket going again. I think Test cricket is the best way to get some cricket under your belt – you get some overs under your belt, you get time to spend in the middle and it’s not rushed. That puts my cricket in good stead.”