Michael Holding, cricketer

Michael Holding is a cricket commentator and former West Indies bowler. He’s widely regarded as one of the greatest fast bowlers in the history of international cricket. In July 2020 when rain stopped play during the television coverage of a Test Match, he gave an unscripted four minute monologue on institutional racism in sport and society in the wake of the death of George Floyd. His spontaneous eloquence won him widespread acclaim, including a Royal Television Society award.

Michael was born in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1954 and grew up playing Catchy Shubby, an informal and fast-moving form of cricket, in scrubland behind his parents' home. He made his debut for Jamaica aged 18. Two years later he played in his first Test match for the West Indies and went on to become part of a team that would make sporting history – not losing a single series for 15 years. Michael earned the nickname ‘Whispering Death’ for his long quiet run-up and extremely fast deliveries, and many cricket experts believe he bowled the greatest over in Test history – to the English batsman Geoffrey Boycott in 1981 in Barbados.

He retired from international cricket in 1987 and became a well-respected and straight-talking commentator on the game: he has said this is his last year in the commentary box and he plans to return to his home in the Cayman Islands.

DISC ONE: Don't Make Me Over by Dionne Warwick
DISC TWO: War by Bob Marley And The Wailers
DISC THREE: Pata Pata by Miriam Makeba
DISC FOUR: Color Him Father by The Winstons
DISC FIVE: What’s Going On by Marvin Gaye
DISC SIX: Another Day in Paradise by Phil Collins
DISC SEVEN: That’s What Friends Are For by Dionne Warwick Featuring Elton John, Gladys Knight And Stevie Wonder
DISC EIGHT: Who the Cap Fit by Bob Marley And The Wailers

BOOK CHOICE: Long Walk To Freedom by Nelson Mandela
LUXURY ITEM: A football
CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE: That’s What Friends Are For by Dionne Warwick Featuring Elton John, Gladys Knight And Stevie Wonder

Presenter Lauren Laverne
Producer Katy Hickman
Photo BBC / Amanda Benson