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Former West Indies bowler Michael Holding retiring as TV commentator

·1 min read
<span>Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA</span>
Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA

Michael Holding is retiring after 31 years as a TV commentator. The former West Indies fast bowler played 60 Tests and 102 one-day internationals, claiming 391 wickets, before moving behind the microphone after his retirement from playing in 1987. His first TV broadcast came during England’s 1990 tour of West Indies.

Related: Michael Holding's eloquence leads Sky's unflinching masterpiece on race | Andy Bull

Holding, now 67, had indicated last year that he was “not too sure how much further than 2020 I will be going with commentary”, saying: “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.”

In this week’s episode of BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs the presenter Lauren Laverne referred to this as his “last year in the commentary box”, telling him “so many people will miss your beautiful voice”.

The former England captain Michael Vaughan, himself a pundit, tweeted: “Michael Holding is a legendary bowler .. Commentator.. Campaigner.. but even more so a GREAT guy who will be sorely missed around the Comm boxes.”

In the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder Holding made waves during England’s first home Test of 2020 with a passionate call to arms against racism.

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Earlier this year, Holding’s new book was published ‘Why We Kneel, How We Rise’, a sober, densely researched account of racial discrimination, partially told through discussions with leading athletes including Usain Bolt, Thierry Henry, Michael Johnson and Naomi Osaka.

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