Michael Holding is widely regarded as one of the best fast bowlers to have ever played Test cricket. He is married to Laurie-Ann Holding, who comes from Antigua.
Along with her partner Rhonda Kelly, she runs an events and communications company called Kelly Holding Ltd.
Discussing her feelings about cricket in an interview in 2017, Laurie-Ann said: “I don’t like cricket… I love it.
“Yes. I like the sport very much. I developed a passion for it back in 1997 when I started working on it.
“Also as a West Indian, I immediately felt drawn to West Indies cricket and its unique structure not just in cricket but in the international sporting arena.
“This is a sport where a team that is actually made up of citizens from various countries come together to form a ‘National’ Team and play all over the world.
“Only when West Indies play does this happen. The governing body even created a unique flag for the team and a unique anthem.
“As an Antiguan I am proud of the famous cricketers my country produced who rival the world’s best.
“As a West Indian I am proud of the history and many great players our many small islands have produced.”
Laurie-Ann’s husband now works as a pundit and commentator on Sky Sports and he has become a leading voice in the fight against racism.
On the first day of England’s test match against West Indies in Southampton, the 66-year-old made an impassioned plea for societal change, calling for more education on racial issues.
Holding said: “When I say education, I mean going back in history. What people need to understand is that this thing stems from a long time ago, hundreds of years ago. The dehumanisation of the black race is where it started. People will tell you, ‘that’s a long time ago, get over it’. No. You don’t get over things like that. Society has not gotten over something like that.
“I didn’t quite understand as a young man what brainwashing meant – I now understand. People – black people and white people – have been brainwashed in different ways.
“Think about religion. The image of Jesus Christ is pale skin, blond hair, blue eyes. Where Jesus came from, who in that part of the world looks that way? That is brainwashing, to show you ‘this is what the image of perfection is’. If you look at plays from those days, Judas, who betrayed Jesus, is a black man. Brainwashing people to think, ‘he is a black man, he is the bad man’.
“Go through history. Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, everybody knows that, but he invented the light bulb with a paper filament that burned out in no time at all. Can you tell me who invented the filament that makes these lights shine? Nobody knows, because he was a black man and it was not taught in schools. Lewis Howard Latimer invented the carbon filament to allow lights to continue to shine, yet who knows that?
“Everything should be taught. In my school days, I was never taught anything good about black people and you cannot have a society that is brought up like that where you only teach what is convenient to the teacher. History is written by the conqueror, not those that are conquered. History is written by the people who do the harm, not by the people who are harmed. We need to go back and teach both sides of history.
“Until we do that and educate the entire human race, this thing will not stop. We need to teach and re-educate, as a lot of black people in this world are growing up believing that they are lesser than other people and that cannot be right.”
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