BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Legendary fast bowler Michael Holding has given a thumbs up to some of the initial moves made by the new Ricky Skerritt-led Cricket West Indies administration, and believes one of the major achievements so far is the renewed commitment by players to represent the embattled regional side.
Pointing out he was “extremely happy” when Skerritt toppled three-term incumbent Dave Cameron in elections a year ago, Holding said the new administration appeared headed in the right direction but now needed to ensure the early work paid off.
“I am happy with a lot of things that I heard are being done,” Holding told Starcom Radio’s Mason and Guest on Tuesday.
“I’m not that close to know what has taken place but the different committees that I heard were set up and the actions that these committees are supposed to be taking I am happy in that regard. Let’s see if all this now comes to fruition.”
He added: “Another aspect of this entire thing that I’m happy with is that … cricketers are now looking forward to representing West Indies again – everybody is now making themselves available again which is important.
“If you don’t have a huge pool from which to draw, you’re going to have mediocrity getting to the top and if you have more competition at the lower level and everyone fighting to be in the last 11, the cream will rise to the top.
“This is what you want in the Caribbean – everyone wanting to play for West Indies.”
Holding said one of the signs of success would be West Indies’ performances on the field, especially in Tests and One-Day Internationals.
The 66-year-old, now a respected international television cricket analyst, said special attention needed to be given to the longer form of the game as it developed the character required in players to contribute to the region’s development following their playing careers.
“What I want to see is West Indies getting back to being highly competitive at Test level and One-Day International cricket. [In] Tests especially because that is the true test of someone’s character and we want that in the Caribbean,” said Holding, who snatched 249 wickets in 60 Tests between 1975 and 1987.
“We just don’t want cricketers, we want to be building people of substance in the Caribbean so after their cricketing careers, they can go on to other things that will benefit the Caribbean.
“You don’t want somebody to retire at 35 and that is the end of their benefit to the West Indies, you must be able to do other things so that the region can continue to benefit from you. At the end of that, we want to be able to build people who can go on and I think Test cricket contributes to that.”
West Indies have continued to struggle in both the Test and ODI formats where they are currently ranked eighth and ninth respectively.