The Independent Voice of West Indies Cricket

West Indies legend defends T20 players in country vs club debate

Wed, May 1, '24


Michael Holding

ALTHOUGH being one of the most vocal critics of T20 cricket, Jamaica and West Indies great Michael Holding says he fully understands Caribbean players’ decision to focus more on franchise than international cricket due to the significant financial rewards it offers in the long run.

Regarded as one of the region’s best players of all time, the “Whispering Death” claimed close to 400 wickets in 162 caps for the Windies in Test and One-Day International cricket combined. The Jamaican pacer, who made his debut in 1975, also won the World Cup in 1979 while finishing as the fifth-best wicket-taker with eight wickets from four matches.

During his commentary career, which he retired from in 2021, Holding refused to be part of any T20 international match or tournament broadcast, stating that “it’s not even cricket”.

Over the last decade, the commitment of players from the region has been questioned due to their participation in international franchise tournaments while the West Indies have underperformed in all versions of the game.

However, Holding has come to their defence and says it makes sense for them to secure their long-term future.

“What we need to recognise in the Caribbean is that we need cash to care. We are cursing cricketers at the moment for not making themselves available to West Indies to play in a lot of our tournaments and a lot of our series around the world but we have to recognise that cricket today is a career and a living. Cricketers, and sportspeople in general, do not have a long time at their sport or their profession so they have got to maximise their earnings,” he said.

Read more at Jamaica Observer

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