Michael Holding: Let's pause, look within the game

Updated: May 01, 2020, 10:09 IST | PTI | New Delhi

WI legend feels Coronavirus-caused break must be used to introspect on ruthless commercialisation of cricket

Michael Holding at Port Elizabeth, SA earlier this year. Pic/ Getty Images
Michael Holding at Port Elizabeth, SA earlier this year. Pic/ Getty Images

Looking to suck out every dollar available, cricket was suffering from an overkill and the Coronavirus-forced break should be used to introspect whether the game is heading in the right direction, says West Indies fast bowling great Michael Holding. The cricketer-turned-commentator personally believes hitting the pause button for a while was necessary amid excessive commercialisation of the sport. "Just use the pause to look within the game, to look at what has been happening with the administrators, with the players, and think: Are we heading in the right direction? Is everything okay with our game? Personally, I don't think so," Holding told ESPNcricinfo.

"Everybody has just been head-over-heels charging down the hill, looking for every dollar available. But can we just pause a bit, hit a plateau for a bit and sit down and look and see if everything is fine? There is too much cricket being played, for one." The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the world to a standstill with sporting events around the globe have been postponed or cancelled. The hugely-popular IPL has been postponed indefinitely and the T20 World Cup, to be held later this year in Australia, is also under doubt.

The deadly disease has so far claimed around 2,18,000 lives with India accounting for more than 1000 deaths. Holding, nicknamed 'whispering death' for his quiet approach, said sooner or later the administrators will have to resume cricketing action and if needed, behind the closed doors.

"A lot of administrations figure that they have to play some form of the game to satisfy their broadcasters. Because if the broadcasters don't get what they pay for, they are going to demand their money back," said the Jamaican, who is an avid fan of horse racing and is currently locked down at Cayman Island. "So they have to try and play cricket behind closed doors, or whatever form they can get to play. I can't fault them for trying to do that."

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