Olivia Grange, Jamaica’s Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, has lauded Michael Holding for his achievements following the legendary fast bowler turned respected commentator revealed this week that he will be retiring from cricket commentary after a 31-year career behind the microphone.
“As the Minister of Sport in Jamaica, Mikey’s homeland, I cannot overstate how proud we are of this man who moved at ‘rapid pace’ from being a great fast bowler to being a great cricket commentator,” she said in a statement released on Thursday (September 16).
“Over the past 30 years, people have come to regard Mikey as one of the most influential and widely recognised voices in cricket. He has been a member of the commentary panel of the British Sky Sports channel for over 20 years and gained a reputation for razor-sharp insights into the game that made him popular with cricket fans and supporters around the world.
“But Mikey has shown that commentary on cricket is not the only commentary he is capable of. In recent times, demonstrated that he also had views on racism that would attract international attention and praise.”
She was referring to the publication of his book Why We Kneel; How We Rise to overwhelmingly positive reviews. This came after passionate comments on his experience with racism in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, by police officer Derek Chauvin in Minnesota in May 2020.
“His views on institutional racism in sport and society in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd in the United States, stirred emotions wide and far. This, Mikey followed up with his book about racism, called Why We Kneel, How We Rise. The book also features several other famous athletes such as Usain Bolt, Naomi Osaka and Michael Johnson,” she said.
“His spontaneous eloquence won him widespread acclaim including a Royal Television Society award.
“So, as we say thanks to Michael Anthony Holding for his phenomenal contribution to cricket as one the fastest and deadliest bowlers the game has seen and one of the greatest commentators on the game, we wish him well in retirement but hope that we will still hear from him, even occasionally.”