Thursday 28 May, 2020

Michael Holding to retire from cricket commentary

Michael Holding says it is unlikely that he will continue commentating beyond 2021.

Michael Holding says it is unlikely that he will continue commentating beyond 2021.

Jamaica and West Indies fast bowling legend Michael Holding says it is unlikely that he will continue commentating beyond 2021.

The 66-year-old Holding, referred to by the chilling moniker‘Whispering Death’ during his playing days due to his quiet approach to the bowling crease, is one of the most respected voices in world cricket and has been with Sky Sports for the past 21 years. 

“I am not too sure how much further than 2020 I will be going with commentary. I cannot see myself going much further down the road at my age. I am 66 years old now, I am not 36, 46 or 56,” the West Indies pace great told the Mason and Guest radio talk show in Barbados on Tuesday.

Holding, who started cricket commentary in 1991 in the Caribbean, where he worked for Trans World International before moving on to Sky Sports, added that he could remain in the job for another year if no cricket is held this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 “The last contract I signed with Sky was for one year, 2020 because I told them I could not commit to more than a year at a time. If this year gets totally destroyed (because of the pandemic), I might have to think about 2021 because I can’t just walk away from Sky, a company that has done so much good for me, after a complete dud of a season, but I can’t see myself going too much further down the road with this thing," he said.

Holding was a key player in the legendary West Indies squad which dominated international cricket at a time of global race riots and apartheid, with an exceptional winning streak that lasted from the mid-70s to the early 1990s.

He remains one of the icons of West Indies cricket and one of the finest fast bowlers Test cricket has seen, having picked up 249 wickets from 60 Tests between 1975 and 1987 at an average of 23.68.

Holding has written two autobiographies the first of which, Whispering Death, was published in 1988 before he retired and the second, No Holding Back, over 20 years later in 2010.

Holding's career yielded domestic stints with Jamaica (1973-1989) as well as in England with Lancashire (1981) and Derbyshire (1983-1989). He also played for Australia’s Tasmania (1982-83) as well as New Zealand’s Canterbury (1987-88).

Holding made his Test debut for the West Indies on November 28, 1975, against Australia. His last Test match came on February 24, 1987, against New Zealand.


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