ESPNcricinfo Match Point Analyst
Michael Holding, widely regarded as one of the leading commentator in the modern game, is one of ESPNcricinfo’s Match Point expert analysts.
Known for his on-field acumen and candid insight into the sport, Holding is a native of Jamaica and a former World Cup winner, having lifted the trophy with the West Indies in 1979.
With an international career spanning from 1975 to 1987, Holding is revered as one of the greatest fast-bowlers in the game’s history and was named as one of Wisden’s Cricketers of the Year in 1977. Boasting 249 Test wickets in 60 matches, he is ranked 6th on the all-time wicket-takers list in West Indian history and still possesses the best figures for a West Indies bowler in a Test match – 14/149 vs. England at The Oval in 1976. He is also 8th on the West Indian wicket-taking list for One-Day Internationals with 142 scalps from 102 games.
His storied career yielded domestic stints with Jamaica (1973-1989) as well as in England with Lancashire (1981) and Derbyshire (1983-1989). Holding also ran out for Australia’s Tasmania (1982-83) as well as New Zealand’s Canterbury (1987-88). He has never shied away from controversy, having represented the Windies in Kerry Packer’s World Series Cricket in the late ‘70s and was also a founding member of ICC’s Bowling Action Review Committee in 1999, from which he resigned under dubious circumstances in 2008.
The 60 year-old has two autobiographies under his name, Whispering Death — published in 1988 before he retired and titled after his nickname for his silent run-up to the crease. The second, No Holding Back, was published in 2010. One of Holding’s crowning achievements off the pitch was receiving a 2013 Honorary Degree and Lifetime Achievement Award at the University of East London, where he recently established a 2015 scholarship for Jamaicans looking to further their postgraduate studies.