What he said:
“We wanted to beat everyone and whether they were white, black, green, pink, Australian, English, Pakistani – we just wanted to beat them.”
Former West Indian fast bowling great, Michael Holding, does not agree with the portrayal of the West Indian side of the 70s and 80s in the documentary, “Fire in Babylon”.
“It is very powerful, very political.I can’t say I’m 100 per cent with the final product to be honest, because I think the race thing was overplayed a little bit.”
“Some of the interviews they did with some of the Caribbean personalities didn’t really reflect how we as cricketers thought, but perhaps we are the sidelines.”
“At no time that I played in that team did I ever get the impression from anybody that we were playing against these people because they were former colonisers, I didn’t get that impression.”
“We were just playing cricket.”
What he really meant:
“We just wanted to be the best side in the world and play our best cricket. If we had to knock heads over, so be it.Race, colour and creed mattered little. We were secular—in that respect.”
What he definitely didn’t say:
“We loved having opposing batsmen turn all shades while facing us. Green (sick), white (fear) and red or purple(bruised).”
A few random thoughts:
We are into the second day of the Lords’s Test between Sri Lanka and England. The home side leads 1-0 following a devastating collapse by the Lankans on the last day of a boring first Test. We don’t need T20 if we can have wickets falling like nine-pins in less than an hour.
Now, if only we had a way of figuring out which session of a Test match will have all the excitement. I’d buy season tickets.
The evening of the final days’s play in the first Test was also an occasion to trot out over-used clichés about the game: