Lifelines: The Black Book of Proverbs

Monday, February 15, 2010

Black History Month - Jamaican cricketer Michael Holding

One who does not look ahead remains behind. (Brazil)

1954 – Jamaican cricketer Michael Holding was born

Michael Holding played schoolboy cricket – Sunlight Cup – on the Kingston College (KC) team in the early 1970s. In those days, I taught at Jamaica College (JC), KC’s traditional rival team at major sports. It was therefore no surprise when I learned in 1975 that selectors of the West Indies cricket team chose Holding to play test cricket in Australia. “He is just going along for the experience,” my source told me. “He probably won’t even play an actual Test match.

My source turned out to be wrong, as Holding had his Test debut and began showing his outstanding talent in that Australian series.

He was a natural athlete who might have been one of the great 400 metres runners had he not transferred his skills to the cricket pitch. He had one of the longest run-ups, and he also used his height (6’4½”) to good effect.

Holding was one of the fastest bowlers ever to play Test cricket; his quiet and deadly glide up the wicket led to his being called “Whispering Death”. Holding's 1981 over to Geoff Boycott at Kensington Oval was historic: five mesmerizing balls each one faster than the last with no runs scored, followed by a devastating ball that took Boycott’s wicket.

He was not equally brilliant as a batsman, but he nonetheless hit 36 sixes in his Test career.

On retirement from the game in 1987, he became an outstanding cricket commentator.

Also on this date in:

1874 - Frederick Douglass was elected president of Freedman's Bank and Trust.

1904 - James Baskett was born, He became Disney’s first live actor playing the part of Uncle Remus in Disney's "Song of the South" (1945. He was also the first male performer of African descent to receive an Oscar.

1923 - Bessie Smith made first recording for Columbia Records.

1956 - Singer James Ingram born in Akron, Ohio.

1957: Levar Burton, the actor most famous for his role as Kunta Kinte in the acclaimed television series "Roots" based on the Alex Haley novel of the same name was born.

1958: Rapper/ Actor Tracy Morrow, better known as Ice-T born in Newark, New Jersey. Ice-T, was born


Hilaire Sobers said...

I remember Michael Holding's debut very well! Hurricane Holding himself, he's still a hero. Remember hailing him up once when I saw him on the road in Ja many years ago.

Yvonne McCalla Sobers said...

Extraordinary cricketer, yet as cool as ever.


When the occasion arises, there is a proverb to suit it. (Proverb from Rwanda and Burundi)

Welcome to this space where we can talk about proverbs that we can relate to (or not), and proverbs that make sense to us (or not). Most of all we can discuss how proverbs make us think about life and living. We can also share experiences of proverbs that have provided us with lifelines or just the chance to reflect.

Some of the proverbs here may also be found in "Lifelines: The Black Book of Proverbs", published by Random House and authored by Askhari Johnson Hodari and me. The foreword is written by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

One of the unique features of our book is that we arranged the proverbs according to life cycle, in sections including, Birth, Childhood, Love, Marriage, and Intimacy, Challenge, and Death.

For more proverbs and for information on Lifelines: the Black Book of Proverbs, please visit us at