May 20, 2010

West Indies cricket

Holding has no time for Twenty20

Nitin Sundar

While most of the game's eminent commentators were a part of the World Twenty20 broadcast, one familiar name chose to stay away from his home event. Michael Holding dismisses the youngest version of the game with the disdain he reserved for batsmen who faced up to him in his peak. “Not one ball. I don’t watch Twenty20. It is dumbing-down cricket. They should find another name for it,” Holding said in an interview with Patrick Kidd for Times Online.

The former West Indies great is not impressed by the notion of Twenty20 specialists who travel the world playing lucrative domestic tournaments. Kieron Pollard may be an instant star with his exploits in the Champions League and the IPL, but Holding's contention is that a cricketer earns his stripes in the longer formats of the game. “Pollard in my opinion is not a cricketer,” is his take on the young allrounder.

Holding is also critical of international players putting Twenty20 leagues ahead of the international game and blames the system for letting it happen. “I can’t say to a young man ‘don’t make a living’, but they need responsible guidance. It is your parents who guide you and in cricket the parents are the boards and the ICC. They need to show some leadership. It saddens me that the West Indies captain [Chris Gayle] is allowed to show up one day before a Test series because he is playing for the IPL.”

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Nitin Sundar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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