Michael Holding discusses the barriers he overcame to forge a career in cricket
Michael Holding features in episode 3 of Sky Sports' My Icon series on Tuesday
By Dev Trehan
Last Updated: 03/10/17 9:16am
West Indies legend Michael Holding says massive strides have been made to combat racism since the days when he was a cricketer.
The former fast bowler enjoyed a glittering playing career before his transition to broadcasting, taking 249 wickets for the West Indies in 60 Tests and adding almost 1000 runs with the bat.
Holding - nicknamed 'Whispering Death' due to his eerily quiet run-up - learned his craft at Melbourne Cricket Club in Jamaica where he had already been registered as a member by his father before he was born.
The club had a real family vibe to it, contrasting sharply with the atmosphere he encountered during tours to Australia and England with the West Indies in the late Seventies.
"Racism to me is a very complex subject," Holding says. "I can give you a lot of instances [where I have faced it] in Australia and this country.
"The first time I came to this country, the entire team got letters saying 'go back to your trees that you came from' and that sort of thing.
"And they would slant the lines and try and write it to the give the impression it was kids writing it - but you knew they weren't kids.
"There has been progress [since then] but at the same time, a lot more work has to be done.
"We have a long, long way to go before we are all recognised as one race. There is one race - the human race, and as long as we keep thinking about different races we will never get to where we should be."
Holding talks about his journey in the latest instalment of My Icon, which premieres on Tuesday at 7am on Sky Sports Mix and is repeated at 1pm, 6pm and 10pm.
Coinciding with Black History Month, Sky Sports' #MyIcon campaign brings you 31 exclusive interviews with top BAME sports personalities across the month of October. For more information click here.