No Holding Back: The Autobiography by Michael Holding

No Holding Back: The Autobiography by Michael Holding

Author:Michael Holding [Holding, Michael]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Orion Publishing Group
Published: 2010-05-20T04:00:00+00:00



Aside from the obvious importance of being able to earn a living, the greatest impact broadcasting has had on my life has been through my relationships. It has allowed me to continue some great friendships and relationships formed during my playing days, I have made many friends, but alas I have also lost friends and supporters. It is an unfortunate trade-off that comes with the job.

Some of the friends I have gained have come from an unlikely source: the players who I used to try to terrorise when I had a ball in my hand. Others are strangers whose living rooms I entered via their television sets. Many have introduced themselves to me to say how much they enjoy my commentary. But sadly, some of those Caribbean supporters who were willing me on to terrorise those batsmen are some of the people who I have lost. That is down to a perception, from a few, that I have somehow been a detractor from West Indies cricket by being honest in the commentary box. It would seem I’m only allowed to say ‘good’ things about the West Indies team. It is a charge that I find ludicrous but I repeat, it’s the view of a minority. It does not worry me, though, as I am a person who prefers to concentrate on the good things in life rather than the bad. It is a source of great joy to me that commentating has allowed me to build friendships and maintain others.

When working on tours in the Caribbean, I am able to meet up with old teammates to reminisce about the good old days, reinforcing bonds that were built years before. When I go around the world I see and work with former opponents and this is where I’ve had the opportunity to start new friendships with those who were previously on the other side of the fence. Then there are those whose friendship has strengthened since playing days. David Lloyd and Ian ‘Beefy’ Botham, two great characters, spring to mind. And Ian Chappell, of course.

Chappell took those clashes in the spirit that they were intended. Others less so; they couldn’t separate the battle on the field from life off it, but I wouldn’t waste ink on them. Another guy who I value like Chappell is the former India Test batsman Aunshuman Gaekwad. I wouldn’t have blamed Aunshuman for not wanting to have anything to do with me following the infamous Jamaica Test of 1976. This was the game when Bishan Bedi waved the white flag because he thought the West Indies bowlers were too quick on a wicket that was too inconsistent in bounce and the line of attack too dangerous to endure. I hit Aunshuman, who was as gutsy a batsman as there has ever been, with a nasty blow on the ear during that game and it turned out to be quite a serious injury. It punctured his ear drum and he required an operation. But he never held a grudge and we remain in contact today, sending emails and Christmas cards.


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