John Holder © Getty Images
John Holder © Getty Images

Former Hampshire fast-bowler turned umpire John Holder believes that legacy and ancestry of cricket should be kept in high regard by West Indies cricketers. He said that the present players in West Indies and upcoming talent are totally in dark of the rich cricketing heritage that West Indies enjoys. The budding cricketers have not even heard of legends like Viv RichardsGarry Sobers, George Headley, Andy Roberts, Malcolm Marshall and Sir Wesley Hall. According to Holder young players should be street smart and be taught about the rich cricket ancestry (that the country has) in schools. This will inspire them to emulate their predecessors esp. legends who have played the game. This shall ultimately help the nation in getting better cricketers in the times to come.

In a conversation with Barbados Today Holder talked about how an innings should be built.  He said,  “Building an innings is like building a house. You build the foundation. Now when you begin an innings you do not know what the ball is doing or how the pitch is playing so you need to have a look and you need to build your confidence. In the early stages of an innings you do not want to play many strokes, you want the ball to strike the middle of the bat. The longer you stay at the crease the better you see the ball. For example, when Sir Vivian Richards was hungry for a big score he would play the ball from under his nose. Some players even talk to themselves when batting. You need to build an innings.” ALSO READ: Remove players’ right to challenge umpire’s decisions: Former umpire John Holder

Holder feels that working out in gyms is not the only thing that will help fast bowlers improve over time.“Fast bowling is different in that you need strong legs. You need a lot of stamina to bowl fast. I remember speaking to Andy Roberts when he was in his prime. He told me that he used to go to the beach in Antigua and just run for hours in the surf to strengthen his legs. I spoke to Sir Wes Hall recently and he told me that when he was preparing for a Test series he used to run five miles in the morning and five miles in the evening just to build up stamina. Fast bowling is physically very demanding , but it is also hugely rewarding. If you are genuinely quick you can be intimidatory because no batsman likes genuinely quick bowling,” he signed off.