Wed | Sep 20, 2017

'We believe you, Mikey'

Published:Tuesday | June 2, 2015 | 6:00 AMLaurie Foster, Contributor
Dave Cameron
Michael Holding
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It has always been a singular pleasure and privilege to interact with any Holding. The family has been highly respected and indeed, revered from the days, sisters, Rheima (Lady Hall) and Dr Marjorie (Mrs Jeffrey Cobham) were guests of senior Jamaica College colleagues at home-based Sunlight Cup Cricket matches and errands to the tuck shop and elsewhere at the behest of these Prefects, were mandated. As a mere fourth former, any hint of refusal did not appear on the list of options.

With that as an introduction to little Mikey, who was but a toddler then, total respect is guaranteed, even just shy of 60 years later.

So when a Michael Holding, unbiased analyst, he has now become, speaks on cricketing matters, there is instant rapt attention.This time, is no different. In a recent edition of the Barbados Today newspaper, West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) president, Dave Cameron spoke of there being no ban on the fast bowler, known in his prime, as 'Whispering Death.' This was given during a WICB Town-Hall meeting at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus. Cameron is reported to have suggested after an audience query, that Holding?s commitments overseas had prevented him from being available in recent times.

President of the WICB, Whycliffe 'Dave' Cameron, Holding's absence from his usual commentary position, had been noticed, according to the report, from the just concluded home series between West Indies and England.

The former financial executive was quoted, "The issue we have with Mr Holding is that our season runs counter to the season in the UK and whenever we ask him to do commentary he is always working with Sky back in the UK, so as far as they are concerned there are no issues,"

In a follow up article in the same publication titled "Not true, says Holding." The Jamaican legend has refuted statements attributed to Cameron that he has turned down requests to do television commentary.

Holding was not holding back in his response to the cricket boss? accusation and the report continued with this quotation.

"... How come after being contracted by SKY since 1998 and working on cricket in the Caribbean since that time until 2012, all of a sudden my commitments to SKY started preventing me from doing cricket in the Caribbean?" he questioned.

"The fact of the matter is that when the production of West Indies cricket was moved from the hands of TWI/IMG to the current company, they were instructed not to employ me. And further more, England were just in the Caribbean playing against the West Indies. Was I committed to some other England team that I wasn't out there working on that series"

"Since the new production company took over West Indies cricket, I was never asked to work on any cricket out there, so I could never have said I was not available. I have no problem if the new company thinks I am not worth having on their commentary team, but please don't say my commitments for SKY keep me away or I ever said I was not available," Holding added

Now, all over social media the argument surfaces "Who are we to believe? Foster's Fairplay is caught in similar undecided territory All this, heightened by telephone contacts from long time and trusted supporters of the game, which only tend to increase the unease.

"Give Dave a break," they urge. "He is new at this and deserves his chance." Sorry friends, West Indies Cricket is in the doldrums. Far too many dreams of "turning the corner" are dashed by incompetence at the top. The game cannot afford teething pains of guys at the steering wheel, getting their feet wet.

If Cameron is to be taken seriously, his missing in action, as this columnist experienced, when the top administrator had pledged to correct a wrong he had agreed was improper, cannot be countenanced. The reference is to ticket bungling during the inaugural Caribbean Premier League, when there was an error due to rate of exchange fluctuations that was never addressed despite Cameron?s acknowledgement of an incorrect call. Ambition to right a sinking ship needs substance, not surrender.

We believe you, Mikey.

- For feedback: lauriefoster2012@gmail.com.