Michael Holding is a former West Indian Cricketer who remains one of the fastest bowlers ever to play Test cricket. Given the nickname, ‘Whispering Death’ by umpires, his quiet approach to the bowling crease was one of the best that cricket has ever seen. Holding’s bowling was smooth as well as being extremely fast. He successfully used his height of 6ft, 3 in to generate large amounts of bounce and zip off the pitch.
Also known as part of the fearsome West Indian pace battery, alongside Joel Garner, Andy Roberts, Sylvester Clarke, Colin Croft, Wayne Daniel and the late Malcolm Marshall that destroyed some of the best batting lineups in the world throughout the seventies and early eighties, Michael Holding is known as a cricketing legend.
Early in his Test career in 1976, Holding broke the record for the best bowling figures in a Test match by a West Indies bowler, 14 wickets for 149 runs (14/149). To this day, the record still stands. Throughout Holding’s first-class cricket career, Holding played for Jamaica, Canterbury, Derbyshire, Lancashire and Tasmania. In June 1988, Holding was celebrated on the $2 Jamaican stamp alongside the Barbados Cricket Buckle. Holding recorded an amazing feat of howling 5473 deliveries, without bowling a single wide, the most by any player in cricket history. Arguably, this is one of the biggest achievements in cricket history.
After the 1976 series against England, Holding enrolled at the University of the West Indies on a scholarship to study Computer Science. Unfortunately, the cricket profession did not pay well, meaning that Holding had to prepare himself for employment off of the cricket pitch. Holding sustained a shoulder injury towards the end of the 1976 tour of England, preventing Holding from Joining the West Indies squad to face Pakistan in March 1977. However, during this series, Holding was approached by Lloyd and asked to join a World XI team, captained by England’s Tony Greig to play against Australia in the World Series Cricket; there was still animosity between Greig and the West Indies players over Greig’s comments before the 1976 Test Series in England.
After an extremely successful career in cricket, Holding’s career also evolved after his retirement from active play in the sport. Although Holding had never aspired to become a commentator for cricket, he was friends with a producer at Radio Jamaica who invited him for his comments on cricket. This led Holding to work around the Caribbean; at this stage, work was not regular enough to be his main source of income.
Holding made a transition from being a radio commentator to television in 1990 when cricket in the Caribbean was broadcast on television to the rest of the world. Alongside Tony Cozier, Holding was picked to be a local commentator in 1990. He then went on to be a broadcaster as a member of the Sky Sports cricket commentary team, a highly prestigious place. Holding was also a semi-regular member of Channel 9’s cricket commentary team in Australia led by Richie Benaud.
A brilliant motivational cricket speaker, Michael Holding is not short of experience or success within the cricket industry. Recognised with an honorary degree and Lifetime Achievement Award at the University of East London, he has established himself as an expert in all things cricket, Holding has led one of the most successful playing careers whilst showing extreme commitment to the sport.
To book Michael Holding as the cricket speaker for your corporate event, function or conference, simply contact the Champions Speakers agency using the contact details below.
When at corporate events, Michael is known to cover the following topics:
- Cricket Speaker
- Peak Performance
- Maximising Success
- Venue Openings
- Media Appearances
- Conference Hosting
- Educational Visits
- Award Ceremonies