Legendary West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding celebrates his 61st birthday on Tuesday.
No bowler in history has run up with quite the lithe, rhythmic grace of Michael Holding – hence his nickname, ‘Whispering Death’.
Holding’s 60 Tests came against only four countries – England, Australia, India and New Zealand – but he was the sort of classy practitioner who could produce anywhere: 11 of his 13 five-fors came overseas, including two on an Oval featherbed in 1976, when he tore England apart with a magnificent performance (8-92 and 6-57).
And there was that over to Geoff Boycott in Barbados in 1980-81, when Holding softened him up with the first five balls and sent the off stump flying with the sixth. InWisden Cricket Monthly, Boycott’s team-mate Chris Old was described as “having the look of a man who had seen a monster”. Holding also whacked six Test fifties, four of them off England.