Melbourne: Fast-bowling legend and commentator Michael Holding is mocking Cricket Australia’s plan to split-innings cricket, and believes that it will needlessly destroy the one-day format.
Cricket Australia had proposed a new 40-over competition, in which teams would bat for two innings of 20 overs each, and has planned the change for the domestic limited overs format next summer.
“What they are trying to do then is just have four Twenty20 innings. Well, I wouldn’t have too much positive to say about that,” Holding said from the UK.
Holding’s light-footed approach to the crease and malevolent pace earned him the nickname “Whispering Death” during 60 Tests for the West Indies, but the Jamaican said his career would have been very different had it begun 35 years later, The Age reports.
“If I had started today, more than likely I would have gone and played Twenty20 as well. If anyone was paying me a million dollars to play six weeks of cricket, I would have done that and I wouldn’t have bothered with Test cricket, what’s the point?”
“That is the danger. Why would any young man want to work hard correcting his technique, learning how to do things properly when he can earn that amount of money over a short period of time doing rubbish,” Holding said.
“Look at someone like Kieron Pollard; he averages less than 12 runs per innings in the Twenty20 format, less than 22 runs per innings in the 50-over format, has never played a Test match, and yet he was offered $800,000 to go and play for six weeks in the IPL. Why would he want to go into the nets and learn to bat properly?” he asked.
Holding believes the saturation of all forms of cricket is hurting the art of genuine fast bowling, The Age reports.
Asked if there was a paceman on the international scene who reminded him of himself, he said: “I don’t think you will get any fast bowler bowling at that sort of pace any more. With the amount of cricket that they play, it is pretty difficult to bowl that fast and to last.”
“Even if the bowlers have the ability to bowl that fast they won’t. It doesn’t make sense. Look around the world now and tell me how many bowlers bowl 95 miles an hour [153km/h], and if they do come along, how long they last. Not very long,” he added.