India news June 8, 2014

Holding in talks with Baroda for bowling role

Michael Holding, the former West Indies fast bowler, has said that he is in talks with Baroda Cricket Association (BCA) for the role of bowling consultant. Holding received the offer in April this year from former India batsman and coach Anshuman Gaekwad, who is the secretary of the BCA cricket committee.

"I was asked by Anshuman if I could come and do some coaching in Baroda over an extended period," Holding told ESPNcricnfo. "I couldn't do the stretch that they wanted because of my already committed obligations. I have told them when I would be available and for what period of time so I am now waiting to hear back from them if it's acceptable."

As soon as Gaekwad became the secretary at the BCA, he wanted to get a reputed former international. He recommended the name of Holding, who he knew from his own playing days, to the BCA's cricket improvement committee. BCA's plan was to get Holding over for a maximum of ten weeks spread across the year, Gaekwad said.

Gaekwad contacted Holding early April when the Jamaican was in Miami. Holding, who is contracted with various television broadcasters around the world, wanted to check his schedule about when he could spare some time.

"He wrote back saying he would be free for about six weeks only in April and May and one or two weeks later in the year around October - November which clashes with the domestic season," Gaekwad said. "His availability is little too less but it would be still worth having him.

"It would be a big bonus to have him here working with our youngsters. With his guidance it would go a long way for our bowlers," he said.

Gaekwad said he was very positive about signing up Holding and the deal was likely to be formalised "at the earliest" by the BCA.

Home to bowlers such as Munaf Patel and Irfan Pathan, Baroda have struggled in the pace department in the recent years. In the 2013-14 season, the team finished fourth in Group B and failed to qualify for the Ranji Trophy knockouts in the 2013-14 season.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo