The legendary Michael Holding was a guest on Times of India’s new sports podcast ‘Sportscast’ recently and discussed a wide variety of topics.
One of the things that was talked about is whether the definition of passion for a sport has changed over the years for sports persons. With most sports becoming more and more commercialised and money pouring in, there are many more motivators for youngsters these days to pursue sports as compared to the earlier generations.
But has the basic definition of passion for the sport changed? Holding doesn’t think so.
”I don’t think so necessarily. I don’t think that’s necessarily the case, I think individuals will vary of course. But because you are now making millions on the game, that doesn’t mean that you’re not passionate about the game. And the more passion you can show for the game, obviously, the better you should be, and the longer your career should last,” Holding said on TOI Sportscast.
However, the 67 year old, who is widely regarded as one of the best fast bowlers to have played the game, also feels that sometimes the commitment shown towards national duty is questioned.
”What people are questioning is whether people are showing the same commitment to their countries, that is what people are questioning. Is it a commitment to your country? Or is it just a commitment to earn a living? And that is a question that a lot of cricketers and a lot of sportsmen find difficult to answer,” Holding further said on TOI Sportscast.
Mr. Holding was also asked about what he feels about the future of club sports. Is it something that is gradually taking over and changing player priorities?
One of the criticisms that has been levelled against many cricketers in the recent past is that a lot of them have chosen to become ‘T20 freelancers’ and play cricket in T20 leagues around the world and in some cases turn their backs on national duty.
Holding spoke very candidly on the subject.
”Well, what you have to understand is that cricketers who play cricket for a living, it’s their profession, they are going to look to try and maximize their earnings. Cricketers from the poorer countries, most of them will be thinking to themselves – ‘where can I get a T20 contract?’ Because that’s where the money is. The cricketers from the richer countries, they’ll still want to play in these tournaments, but they don’t have to because your countries – Australia, India, England, their cricketers get huge financial returns on their countries and playing Test match cricket. An England contract is like a million pounds, an Australian contract millions of dollars. Then also, they will be thinking to themselves – ‘yes, I’m earning enough money by my contract and start to dedicate a lot of my efforts toward my country’. While those who don’t, like the West Indians, – who is going to turn down $600,000 for six weeks when your country is paying 150,000 for an entire year? It is a difficult ask to tell someone to turn that down. So you have to look at the entire concept of what is going on in each cricketer, because it’s his living. This is how he makes his living. His career is not long lasting.” Holding further said on TOI Sportscast.
Listen to the full Sportscast episode with Michael Holding here
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