'A sad day': Cricket world rocked by Michael Holding retirement

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Pictured here, Michael Holding performs his duties as a cricket commentator.
News of Michael Holding's retirement has left the cricket world saddened. Pic: Getty

Tributes are rolling in across social media after news that West Indies cricket great Michael Holding's 31-year career as a commentator is over.

According to widespread reports, Holding is set to retire from his role as a cricket commentator with Sky Sports, where he has established himself as a much loved broadcasting figure.

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The 67-year-old played played 60 Tests and 102 one-day internationals, taking 391 wickets in a career that saw him lauded as one of the greatest fast bowlers of all time.

After retiring as a player in 1987, Holding's voice has been an ever-present for cricket fans for more than two decades.

He made his broadcasting debut for ITV in 1990 during the West Indies tour of England, but has indicated recently that his time behind the microphone was coming to an end.

Holding said last year he was “not too sure how much further than 2020 I will be going with commentary”, adding: “I cannot see myself going much further down the road at my age. I am 66 years old now, I am not 36, 46 or 56.

"I told (Sky) that I could not commit to more than a year at a time. If this year gets totally destroyed, I might have to think about 2021 because I can't just walk away from Sky, a company that has done so much good for me."

Holding captured the sporting world's hearts and minds last year when he broke down in tears discussing racism, during a live segment for Sky Sports.

The 67-year-old delivered a powerful message about his own family's experiences with racism, in the wake of the George Floyd tragedy that rocked the world.

On day one of the Test between England and the Windies, the former captain delivered an impassioned plea for society to help stamp out racism in everyday life.

Holding was then interviewed by Sky News' Mark Austin on day two, where he broke down on camera while discussing the racism his parents had experienced throughout their lives.

Michael Holding is seen here breaking down in 2020 discussing his family's experiences of racism.
Michael Holding broke down in 2020 discussing his family's experiences of racism. Pic: Sky Sports

Cricket world pays tribute to Michael Holding

Upon hearing the news of Holding's retirement, England great and Sky Sports colleague Michael Vaughan hailed the "great man" and said he would be sorely missed.

Vaughan's thoughts were echoed across the cricket world as fans paid tribute to one of the most iconic voices in the sport.

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