Image courtesy of: The Mirror
“For the most part, they were pathetic”
With numerous media outlets and former players hailing England’s 3-0 victory over Australia in the recently concluded Ashes series, legendary West Indies pace bowler Michael Holding has opted for a much different approach as he believes “Australia played a lot better than many expected and England, in my view, were below par”.
Holding also noted that the 3-0 scoreline did not truly reflect how both sides played and criticised the pitches used, branding them as “putrid”.
“I think Australia played a lot better than many expected and England, in my view, were below par,” he wrote in his column for Wisden India. “To be honest, both teams were brought closer together by putrid pitches.
“For the most part, they were pathetic. Only Lord’s and Old Trafford could be considered good cricket pitches.”
Holding was infuriated by the fact that England had tried to doctor the pitches to give themselves an advantage over their arch-rivals.
“But you will see and hear nothing about that fact,” he said. “To me, that is just plain wrong. People talk about home-team advantage, and being entitled to do whatever suits you. But it doesn’t permit you to spoil a game of cricket by preparing sub-standard pitches. Home advantage means you have your home crowd, you have conditions you’re familiar with.”
With the focus of the back-to-back Ashes series now moving to Australia, where both nations will be ready to square off against each other once again on November 21, Holding believes Australia will never stoop to such low levels, whereby they have to doctor pitches in order to win.
Holding’s beliefs were confirmed by Australia captain Michael Clarke just days after the conclusion of the Ashes series in England as he assured the cricketing community that none of the pitches being used will be doctored.
“I’ve been going to Australia for a long time, as a player or a commentator, and I’ve not seen pitches change from year to year depending on who is playing,” Holding said.