Michael Holding is set to retire from his career as a cricket commentator at the end of this season.
Holding has been part of Sky Sports commentary team for over two decades now, a role he has fulfilled with at least as much class as his playing career. Holding is widely considered as one of the game’s greatest pace bowlers, playing 60 Tests and 102 ODIs for West Indies from 1975 to 1987, and becoming an integral part of the dominant West Indies’ side of that era.
He began his commentary career in 1988 in the Caribbean, and quickly brought the same grace to the commentary box as his run-up during his playing days, an approach so smooth it earned him the famous nickname of ‘Whispering Death’. But Holding, 66, never held back from expressing some straightforward opinions on the game, not least that he wouldn’t commentate in the fancy domestic T20 leagues because he thought it wasn’t cricket.
Modern viewers would have seen a different side of Holding last year. Having been keenly aware that the significance of the West Indian teams he played for went far beyond the field of play, the Black Lives Matter movement in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd last year, became a moment for Holding’s voice to be heard loud and clear once again. His eloquent, heartfelt, and personal piece to Sky’s channel on racism and inequality became one of the broadcast highlights of the year, eventually winning them two broadcast awards in the UK.
Holding had already indicated his Retirement last year
Holding was part of the panel for England’s recent Test series against India, but had already indicated last year that he was near the end of his career as a commentator.
“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,” Holding was quoted as saying by Press Trust of IndiaÂ on a radio talk show.
“I told (Sky) that I could not commit to more than a year at a time. If this year gets totally destroyed, 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.”
God of Cricket praises Holding
Sachin Tendulkar tweeted in response to the news of Holding’s retirement. He said in the tweet,
Congratulations on a wonderful career in broadcasting, Michael Holding. Your voice will be missed by millions across the globe.I loved the way you put your point of view across and found your opinions unbiased and balanced. Take care, stay healthy and enjoy your retirement.”