An Exclusive Interview with Michael Holding

Discussion in 'Cricket Talk' started by Mercenary, Aug 8, 2010.

An Exclusive Interview with Michael Holding

Discussion in 'Cricket Talk' started by Mercenary, Aug 8, 2010.

by Abdul Habib
Aug 8, 2010 at 5:49 PM
  1. Mercenary

    Mercenary The Lone Wolf

    Dec 17, 2009
    I'd like to thank Michael Holding for taking time out of his busy schedule to be interviewed by Cricistan. Below we have both the audio interview and the text interview for all you Cricistanis.


    The Audio Interview

    Michael Holding Audio Interview

    The Transcript

    Cricistan.Com: This is Abdul Habib of with West Indian fast bowling legend Michael Holding. Michael thanks for agreeing to do this interview with

    Michael Holding: No problem

    Cricistan.Com: You were part of the world beating West Indian side and the Pakistan side of that era was also one of the top 3 sides in the world. What do you think went wrong for both teams?

    Michael Holding: Well Pakistan and the West Indies have had similar problems as far as organisation of their cricket is concerned. Pakistan produces a lot of individually brilliant cricketers and so do the West Indies but if you don't have a team in the real sense of the word then you will struggle. Both teams have had problems with their cricketing administrations.

    Cricistan.Com: Teams that were struggling in your era like England and Australia are now dominating, do you think this has anything to do with their professional setups and their emphasis on fitness

    Michael Holding: No. I think all teams are into fitness and all teams put a lot of effort into fitness and nutrition. I dont think that has anything to do with Australia and England playing good cricket at the moment, South Africa and Sri Lanka are playing good cricket too. I think it's a matter of the infrastructure that you have in your respective countries and the organisational ability of the administration. I think that's the most important thing as far as producing cricketers is concerned. Obviously you've got to have talent but if you have the proper infrastructure and administration to make sure things go smoothly you have a very good chance of producing some good teams.

    Cricistan.Com: You've played 19 ODI's against Pakistan but I came across a very interesting stat today, one that I'm having a bit of trouble believing. Is it true that you've never played a test match against Pakistan?

    Michael Holding: No, I never played a Test match against Pakistan. For one reason or another it never happened. When Pakistan came to the West Indies in 1977,I was in university. When West Indies toured Pakistan in 1981 I got injured in the very first game, which was an ODI, that meant I played no further part in that tour. Then I toured Pakistan for a one day series, so I never played a Test match against Pakistan.

    Cricistan.Com: That's a shame we'd have loved to see you play in Tests against Pakistan because You're a bowler who took apart the best batting line-ups in the world. Did you study Javed Miandad, Zaheer Abbas, Asif Iqbal, Majid Khan and Mudasser Nazar in case you did come up against them?

    Michael Holding: Well I played against them in one day cricket and you always study the opposition that you play against. Back then we didn't do it as technically as they do it now because we didn't have the fan-dangles that they've got now with replays and all the technology that they now use. In those days it was just a matter of memory and discussing it amongst yourselves.

    Cricistan.Com: The way a dismissal is planned in Test cricket is very different to one day cricket. If you had come across javed Miandad in a Test match, what plans did you have for him?

    Michael Holding: It would all depend on what was happening at that stage of the match, you should never go into a match with any pre-conceived ideas. A bowler should go into a game with a basic plan but the plan has to change with the position the match is in, the way that the pitch is playing and the way that the batsman is playing his shots. All batsmen have certain weaknesses but that only gives you a starting point, it can't be the only plan that you've got.

    Cricistan.Com: You were known as 'Whispering Death' and you were one of the fastest bowlers to play the game but apart from yourself who would you say are the three fastest bowlers you've seen.

    Michael Holding: Geoff Thomson was the fastest bowler that I ever saw and up till now I don't think there's ever been a faster bowler than Geoff Thomson, he certainly is number 1. As for the other two, there have been a lot of very fast bowlers. I've seen people like Brett Lee, Shoaib Akhtar and Shane Bond in recent times. In my time there was Andy Roberts before he started to wane and of course Malcolm Marshall who was very fast...

    Cricistan.Com: (interrupts) What about Ian Bishop?

    Michael Holding: Ian Bishop yes for a short period before he got his back injury and Patrick Patterson bowled very fast for the West Indies too.

    Cricistan.Com: Brian Lara said that Mohammad Zahid of Pakistan was the fastest bowler he'd ever seen. Have you seen Zahid bowling and what did you think?

    Michael Holding: I think I saw him at Brisbane in a one day game, a short fellow if I remember correctly. He was rapid. He was very, very quick. Very, very quick but unfortunately he didn't last very long.

    Cricistan.Com: The West Indies had Ambrose and Garner who were both very tall bowlers and watching them was a real spectacle.Do you think cricket is missing a spectacle like that these days?

    Michael Holding: No, not necessarily. Somebody who's 6'8 comes along very rarely, you dont see it too often so the game cant really miss it. But I think the game is missing genuine fast bowlers and it will continue to miss genuine fast bowlers because when they do come along they wont last. There's so much cricket being played now that it's impossible to bowl genuinely fast for very long.

    Cricistan.Com: In Pakistan we've got a 6'10 left arm fast bowler who's just been called up to the Pakistan A team. Having played with Joel Garner what advice would you have for this guy on how best to use his height.

    Michael Holding: Well Joel Garner wasn't express pace and I've no idea how fast this guy is...

    Cricistan.Com: ...he bowls in the early 80mph range

    Michael Holding: Well if he's early 80s then he's still a young man then he still has a chance of developing.

    Cricistan.Com: He's 27 years old

    Michael Holding: At 27 years old he's gone past the development stage, for him it's just a matter of good control using that height making things uncomfortable for batsmen.

    Cricistan.Com: You never got to play T20 cricket, how would 'Whispering Death' have handled batsmen coming down the pitch and trying to knock you out of the park?

    Michael Holding: I wouldn't have been interested in T20 cricket. I would've been interested in the amount of money that they're paying to play cricket, it's something that I think is destroying cricket. I wouldn't have been interested in the format of the game but there's no way I could tell people that I'd refuse $800,000 to play for 6 weeks.

    Cricistan.Com: I dont think anyone would. A few years ago you did a comparative analysis of the hyperextension between RP Singh and Shoaib Akhtar.

    Michael Holding: Yes I remember doing that during a Pakistan and India series.

    Cricistan.Com: Are you aware that Shoaib Akhtar is double-jointed? Due to that I dont think it was a fair comparison because Akhtars elbow can bend in ways that RP Singh's never will.

    Michael Holding: It doesn't matter. Hyperextension is hyperextension. When you look at both of them from the side they look the same but when you look at both of them from the front you saw two different actions.

    Cricistan.Com: Is that because his elbow can go in different directions?

    Michael Holding: Well his arm was straightening.

    Cricistan.Com: What do you think of the current Pakistan pace attack?

    Michael Holding: I think they have a pretty good pace attack right now. Aamer, Asif and Gul are 3 good fast bowlers but they're more effective in the conditions here in England than they would be under the conditions back home in Pakistan. That's because none of them bowl extremely fast anymore. The two older fellows, well I say older in quotations because they're not yet 30, have slowed down considerably due to the amount of cricket that they've played.

    Cricistan.Com: Yes, Umar Gul was 150k when he started his career. Gul's taking wickets for fun in T20 cricket and although you can see him applying pressure in Test cricket he struggles to make breakthroughs. Where do you think he's going wrong in Test cricket?

    Michael Holding: I think T20 cricket is a completely different format of the game and you cant compare the two. Playing T20 cricket will change a lot of players, what you do to be successful in T20 cricket wont be successful in Test match cricket.

    Cricistan.Com: When Gul started his career he was a very good new ball bowler but I think he's got carried away with reverse swing and has forgotten how to use the new ball.

    Michael Holding: When you have to bowl 4 overs in a game, it's completely different to when you have to bowl 20 overs in a game.

    Cricistan.Com: What do you think of the current West Indies pace attack, it's improving isn't it?

    Michael Holding: To be honest, I haven't seen them. I dont watch West Indies cricket unless I'm working on the game and the last time I saw West Indies play it was against Zimbabwe.

    Cricistan.Com: Have you seen Kemar Roach?

    Michael Holding: I saw him, he was ok. Nothing more than that.

    Cricistan.Com: What are your thoughts on Mohammad Aamer, is he one for the future?

    Michael Holding: I think so but it depends on how much cricket he plays. Someone that young, 18 years old, with the workload he has ahead of him. Who knows how long he'll last.

    Cricistan.Com: Thank you very much for talking to us Michael, it's been a pleasure.

    Michael Holding: No problem.
    Last edited: May 23, 2015
Habib conducts player interviews and writes articles for Cricistan.
Tags: this article has not been tagged


Discussion in 'Cricket Talk' started by Mercenary, Aug 8, 2010.

    1. Major

      Major Cornered Tiger

      Apr 28, 2010
      great interview hope it gets posted on cricinfo.

      damn these caribean ppl talk fast.
    2. Rizzy

      Rizzy Talented

      Mar 1, 2010
      Audio doesnt work after 3:50

      but thanks for the interview Merc
    3. cricfreak

      cricfreak Emerging Player

      Jul 6, 2010
      thanks for sharing (Y)

      gr8 work ..
    4. HuskerFan

      HuskerFan Talented

      Jan 30, 2010
      Nice interview as always.

      Although, I do not agree with Holding's comments where he thinks that the reasons for decline in Pak and WI cricket are same.

      Otherthan Chandrapal and Gayle, who West Indies has produced and is individually brilliant? We have individually brilliant cricketer like YK and MoYo but for one reason or the other, they are not in the team. Our bowling line is one of the best. Who have WI prodiced of the late?

      If West Indies has management issues then that issue is similar to Pakistan but the real problem with WI cricket has stopped producing cricketer like they did in 1970s and 1980s.
    5. Mercenary

      Mercenary The Lone Wolf

      Dec 17, 2009
      I don't know what happened there but it's fixed now!!
    6. wasticlotts

      wasticlotts Youngsta Beauty

      Apr 20, 2010
      Always loved the nickname. Such a shame that cricket isn't as popular as it once was in the WIs. Interesting comments on t20...

      Great interview!
    7. Nadeem

      Nadeem Emerging Player

      Dec 22, 2009
      It’s always a pleasure to listen to Michael holding, his insight into the game is second to none and therefore it makes it all the more enjoyable listening to him during the current series.

      Thanks Cricistan.
    8. Mercenary

      Mercenary The Lone Wolf

      Dec 17, 2009
      It was a pleasure talking to Michael Holding, what a great accent he has!

      He comes across as very jaded about the game and is very defensive about his own views. For example I could tell when I said Akhtar was double-jointed that he realised his analysis had been flawed but he kept refusing to accept it!!
    9. LBW

      LBW Youngsta Beauty

      Jul 18, 2010
      well said Mr Holding
    10. Sir John

      Sir John Tracer Bullet

      May 25, 2010
    11. Passionate Pakistani

      Passionate Pakistani The Don

      Jun 10, 2011
      Another Great Interview. Mercenary the audio is even more awsome but it doesnt work after 3.50 :p

      Interesting views about T20 cricket.. and Kemar Roach.
    12. Passionate Pakistani

      Passionate Pakistani The Don

      Jun 10, 2011
      I Bumped it and too many guests reading it now

      come on guys.. come out.. sign in and participate in the debate as well.
    13. NO 1 AFRIDI FAN

      NO 1 AFRIDI FAN Talented

      Aug 30, 2011
      I LOVE his accent! Haha. <3
    14. Passionate Pakistani

      Passionate Pakistani The Don

      Jun 10, 2011
      and i love Mr Abdul Habib aka Mercenary Accent :p
    15. chandtara

      chandtara Mr Cricistan

      Jun 18, 2011
      Thanks for bumping this , i wasn't around when this was conducted. Was really enjoying listening to that but there is no sound from around 3:50 onwards?
    16. Shahzebayub

      Shahzebayub Smooth Operator

      Feb 3, 2012
      Wah reh kya baat hai boss
    17. saiyan0321

      saiyan0321 Cornered Tiger

      Oct 5, 2014
      You just grabbed a stake and placed it in my heart, I actually thought cricistan had done an interview ( recently) until i found out its 2010. Man that is a great interview. Would love more .
    18. ComradeVenom

      ComradeVenom Tracer Bullet

      Jul 24, 2012
      Mercenary sounds like a young man. I imagined him more like Citizen Khan.

      Good interview. Loved Michaels answer about Kemar Roach and his truthful answer about T20 cricket. Even the staunchest critic of T20 would be swayed by the money on offer.

      Is he basically saying Akhtar was a chucker?
    19. ComradeVenom

      ComradeVenom Tracer Bullet

      Jul 24, 2012
      I think Mercenary is shying away from the limelight. It would be good to let a youngster interview a former great though.

      baqir with Sarfraz Nawaz would be epic.
    20. Shahzebayub

      Shahzebayub Smooth Operator

      Feb 3, 2012
      he may be btw 22 to 30
    21. saiyan0321

      saiyan0321 Cornered Tiger

      Oct 5, 2014
      fun part of the interview. :p :p : P:p
    22. ComradeVenom

      ComradeVenom Tracer Bullet

      Jul 24, 2012
      Quite appropriate considering Michael is known as whispering death.
    23. Mercenary

      Mercenary The Lone Wolf

      Dec 17, 2009

      I dont know if it comes across on the audio but Michael didn't like these questions. He'd received a lot of criticism from Pakistan fans over this comparison and so there was no way he was backing down from what he'd said.

      I first saw Holding at the Lords Test Match in 2010 and I went over to say hi to him a few times. I thought I'd ask him if I could do an interview with him. I was expecting that he would say 'No thank you' or that he would say another time and keep putting me off.

      But Holding is genuinely a very nice person. A true gentleman of the sport. Very easy to talk to, he has no airs or graces like some do.

      When I asked Holding if I could do an interview with him, he said yes. No ifs, no buts, no maybes. Just yes. Then I said when do you want to do it and he said what about now which took me by surprise. I had no questions prepared, so I asked him if I could have 15 minutes to prepare and then I interviewed him right there in the Lords dining area. That's why it's not as comprehensive as my other interviews but we still got a lot done in those few minutes.

      He has a great accent, very melodious.

      ASLI-PATHAN Cricistan Khan

      Apr 26, 2011
      Mercenary with proper English accent. Gora saab. :p
    25. PakistanZindabad!

      PakistanZindabad! Cornered Tiger

      Sep 29, 2012
    26. SOPL

      SOPL Talented

      Jun 4, 2013
      I had listened to this interview a few months back on the CS Youtube page but unfortunately found that there was no audio available from the 3:50 mark onwards - I thought there would be no transcript available. Thanks to whoever bumped this thread.

      Anyhow, Michael Holding comes across as a very dignified personality. And yes I agree Merc that when talking about cricket, his voice is quite monotone and lacks any real interest.

      Would love to hear an interview with Tony Cozier or Fazeer Mohammed if that was possible. Don't think any such interviews will happen until 2017 at the very least (Pakistan Test tour to England).
    27. Ehtesham Dm

      Ehtesham Dm Youngsta Beauty

      Jan 31, 2019
      One of the fastest bowlers to have ever played Test cricket, he was nicknamed "Whispering Death" due to his quiet approach to the bowling crease. His Bowling was smooth and extremely fast, and he used his height (6 ft 31⁄2 in or 1.918 m) to generate large amounts of bounce and zip off the pitch

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