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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.
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.
Michael Holding is a legendary bowler .. Commentator .. Campaigner .. but even a more so a GREAT guy who will be sorely missed around the Comm boxes .. Happy retirement Mikie .. 👍
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) September 15, 2021
aw, just read Michael Holding is retiring as a cricket commentator. a sad day for us, hope it's a happy one for you, Michael. one of the best.
— Fred 1971 - anti-Tory (@lazyfred1971) September 15, 2021
Michael Holding has announced his retirement as a cricket commentator.
He will be missed 🙁 pic.twitter.com/GzGfGOlkmq
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) September 15, 2021
What an innings! 👏
Michael Holding has retired from cricket commentary after more than 30 years in broadcasting.#bbccricket
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) September 15, 2021
Michael Holding has announced his retirement from cricket commentary after 30 years at Sky Sports.
A man of towering intelligence and empathy. He will be sorely missed. pic.twitter.com/HY1w2kaXcs
— HLTCO (@HLTCO) September 15, 2021
A big loss to the game of cricket - former West Indies legend Michael Holding has announced his retirement as a cricket commentator #Cricket
— Saj Sadiq (@SajSadiqCricket) September 15, 2021
What a mountain of a man Michael Holding is. Richie Bennaud levels of sadness at the news he's retiring from cricket commentary. That voice will be hugely missed. pic.twitter.com/mr0Qp5zaOs
— Tasker (@Mr_Tasker) September 15, 2021
We may not have gotten to see him play in his heyday, but his voice & analysis have made an indelible impact on cricket enthusiasts all over the globe.
Happy retirement to Michael Holding, it won't be the same without you in the comm box. pic.twitter.com/r8wXH1klw2
— Change of Pace (@ChangeofPace414) September 15, 2021
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