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There’s protectionism where Sammy is concerned: Michael

Holding welcomes Bravo’s elevation to the ‘hot seat’
Michael Holding

Mumbai: Michael Holding, one of the truly all-time great speedsters, and a stand-in West Indies captain, is delighted with Dwayne Bravo’s elevation to the ‘hot seat’.

All-rounder Bravo, who was vice-captain during the last World T20, in Sri Lanka, will captain the West Indies in next month’s Champions Trophy in England and Wales.

“Of course, I’m very happy for Bravo and I welcome the selectors’ decision... I hope this extends to the Test-level too...

“Bravo hasn’t played a Test for three years, because there’s protectionism where Darren Sammy is concerned. Both do the same things, but most people in the world would agree that Bravo’s the better cricketer...

“In fact, that Bravo’s last Test was three years ago is an abomination... The selectors have indicated they’ll continue with Sammy as the Test and T20 captain, so let’s see...

“Sammy has said he’ll cooperate with Bravo and that’s good... But I really don’t know who all will fit in the XI...

“Understandably, Bravo’s very happy... I met him the other evening and wished him luck... I asked him to make the West Indies proud. For his part, Bravo promised to give it his best shot,” Holding, who is now based in Florida, told The Telegraph on Monday evening.

Asked if he’d tip a favourite for the Champions Trophy’s final edition, Holding quipped: “Anything can happen in one-day cricket... Ever since the 1983 World Cup final, when we lost to India, we’ve known that the best team need not necessarily win!”

However, he added: “I haven’t studied all the squads.”

Holding’s wife, Lauren-Ann, is with the IMG and is overseeing the IPL operations at the Wankhede. “I’ve come for a week, to spend time with her,” he pointed out.

It’s no secret that Holding isn’t a fan of T20, but he’s lent his name to the upcoming Caribbean Premier League’s development programme. He’s agreed to be its ambassador.

“I’m not part of the T20 League, but something to be run by it, next January... From what I understand, 60 youngsters would be a part of the development programme and that’s exciting,” Holding maintained.

The specifics should be worked out after the League’s inaugural edition, to be held in July-August.

Holding’s last appearance for the West Indies was 26 years ago, but his following hasn’t declined.

Indeed, much as Holding didn’t want “any excitement” in the lobby of the hotel where he’s staying, there were many rather desperate to be photographed with him.

There are bowlers and there are great bowlers.