Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: David Holford

  1. #1
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    2005
    Posts
    80,401

    David Holford

    A little while ago, in the process of a lengthy project, I was required to look-up the story of this man. I wonder how many CWers, until this post, had a) heard of Holford and b) knew much if anything about him. For those who don't and are interested, it's really one of the most amazing stories of a last-minute piece of fulfillment.

    Holford is Garry Sobers' cousin, a wristspinner and right-handed lower-order batsman, and he debuted in the 1966 series in England, where he played a crucial part in saving the Second Test, along with his cousin, by scoring a second-innings unbeaten century. He then lost his place thanks to someone else being injured (for comparison, see Jaques, Philip and how he lost his place to Simon Katich thanks to Matthew Hayden's injury), before falling victim to pleurisy. For 4 years 1968-1972 he was a moderate member of a side which barely won a thing, then he was dropped just as West Indies begun to embark on some success again in the early-1970s.

    Aged nearly 36 in 1976 he was recalled (at that stage he had played 21 Tests for a bowling average of 44.35 and a batting one of 24.68) for what turned-out to be the Test which marked the start of West Indies' invincible era. He took 5-23 in the first-innings of that Test and thus could be said to be the man who moved the first pawn in a great and glorious game (his best figures up to that point were 4-55). This meant he played the following game, but after an ineffective match he was again dropped. But he was recalled once more in 1977, for the crucial final Test against Pakistan, with the series poised on a knife-edge at one-one, and his 37th birthday came on the second day of the match. In the match he took 5-109, but West Indies might still have lost (and thus, just conceivably, had their momentum stalled by a two-one home defeat) but for Holford's second-innings 37 - when he came in, West Indies led by 351, and Pakistan eventually made 301 in their second dig.

    But for these two recalls, at an age when most are finished, Holford would essentially have gone down as someone who did something of real note once in 64 opportunities. As it finished-up, he made an important contribution to the embryonic stages of one of the most golden eras in cricket. I wouldn't imagine anyone else who endured such a moderate majority of career could claim that.
    RD
    Appreciating cricket's greatest legend ever - HD Bird...............Funniest post (intentionally) ever.....Runner-up.....Third.....Fourth
    (Accidental) founder of Twenty20 Is Boring Society. Click and post to sign-up.
    chris.hinton: h
    FRAZ: Arshad's are a long gone stories
    RIP Fardin Qayyumi (AKA "cricket player"; "Bob"), 1/11/1990-15/4/2006

  2. #2
    Hall of Fame Member aussie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Cricket
    Posts
    16,845
    I was aware of his performances in 1966, but didn't realize he played in that 77 series vs PAK. Very surprised about the later.

  3. #3
    SJS
    SJS is offline
    Hall of Fame Member SJS's Avatar
    Virus 2 Champion!
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Mumbai India
    Posts
    19,264
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    A little while ago, in the process of a lengthy project, I was required to look-up the story of this man. I wonder how many CWers, until this post, had a) heard of Holford and b) knew much if anything about him. For those who don't and are interested, it's really one of the most amazing stories of a last-minute piece of fulfillment.

    Holford is Garry Sobers' cousin, a wristspinner and right-handed lower-order batsman, and he debuted in the 1966 series in England, where he played a crucial part in saving the Second Test, along with his cousin, by scoring a second-innings unbeaten century. He then lost his place thanks to someone else being injured (for comparison, see Jaques, Philip and how he lost his place to Simon Katich thanks to Matthew Hayden's injury), before falling victim to pleurisy. For 4 years 1968-1972 he was a moderate member of a side which barely won a thing, then he was dropped just as West Indies begun to embark on some success again in the early-1970s.

    Aged nearly 36 in 1976 he was recalled (at that stage he had played 21 Tests for a bowling average of 44.35 and a batting one of 24.68) for what turned-out to be the Test which marked the start of West Indies' invincible era. He took 5-23 in the first-innings of that Test and thus could be said to be the man who moved the first pawn in a great and glorious game (his best figures up to that point were 4-55). This meant he played the following game, but after an ineffective match he was again dropped. But he was recalled once more in 1977, for the crucial final Test against Pakistan, with the series poised on a knife-edge at one-one, and his 37th birthday came on the second day of the match. In the match he took 5-109, but West Indies might still have lost (and thus, just conceivably, had their momentum stalled by a two-one home defeat) but for Holford's second-innings 37 - when he came in, West Indies led by 351, and Pakistan eventually made 301 in their second dig.

    But for these two recalls, at an age when most are finished, Holford would essentially have gone down as someone who did something of real note once in 64 opportunities. As it finished-up, he made an important contribution to the embryonic stages of one of the most golden eras in cricket. I wouldn't imagine anyone else who endured such a moderate majority of career could claim that.
    Thats exactly what one meant when talking of the West Indies side in 1970-71 (bang in the middle of that mediocre period.

    Of course one remembers Holford. His photograph walking off the ground with his elder cousin were plastered all over cricket magazines and news papers in the summer of 1966.

    He played another fighting rearguard action in West Indies tour of India scoring 80 odd and fighting on in the company of tail enders.

    One was not aware that he had suffered from pleurisy.

    He bowled modest leg breaks. Nothing special. His relationship with Sobers and his partnership with him that day in England in his very second Test is all one can recall of him.

  4. #4
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    2005
    Posts
    80,401
    Has anyone ever seen footage of him bowling? (Or even in the flesh?) Have for some odd reason always imagined his as a copy of Ramnaresh Sarwan's action; feel sure I must be wrong, and if I could get another image in I'm sure I'd be able to get that out.


  5. #5
    SJS
    SJS is offline
    Hall of Fame Member SJS's Avatar
    Virus 2 Champion!
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Mumbai India
    Posts
    19,264
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Has anyone ever seen footage of him bowling? (Or even in the flesh?) Have for some odd reason always imagined his as a copy of Ramnaresh Sarwan's action; feel sure I must be wrong, and if I could get another image in I'm sure I'd be able to get that out.
    I have a faint recollection of him bowling in the nets in Delhi in Dec 1966. From what I can recall he did not turn the ball too much and did not bowl the wrong one. He did not look like a world class bowler. He just seemed to keep coming over the wicket and throwing his leg breaks up on about off stump line. Good drivable length since the turn wasn't big.

  6. #6
    SJS
    SJS is offline
    Hall of Fame Member SJS's Avatar
    Virus 2 Champion!
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Mumbai India
    Posts
    19,264
    Richard. Check your message box

  7. #7
    Hall of Fame Member aussie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Cricket
    Posts
    16,845
    Ha, why the big interest in Holford Richard?

  8. #8
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    2005
    Posts
    80,401
    It's no particular interest - that is, I didn't see him then look-up his story - but having found the story I just think it's a very interesting, and very unusual, one.

  9. #9
    International Captain
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    england
    Posts
    5,769
    Holford was one of a few aging West Indians who Clive Lloyd signed up for Kerry Packer, but like the other's he hardly played.

  10. #10
    Banned
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    England
    Posts
    2,823
    I remember reading about Holford, but never actually saw him play....

    As an aside, he also served as chairman of selectors for a while, and was responsible for selecting Courtney Walsh over Anderson Cummins for the one-off Test against South Africa at Kensington Oval, to commemorate that team's re-admission to Test cricket. The Bajans were outraged that Walsh could be chosen over Cummins, and, led by Tony Cozier, organised a mass boycott of the Test.

    In front of sparse crowds, the bowling attack of Ambrose and Walsh routed the Saffers, in defending a small total on the last day's play. Walsh was then seen celebrating with Holford, who made a show of pointing out to his insular fellow-Bajans, 'I told you so'.

  11. #11
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    2005
    Posts
    80,401
    Quote Originally Posted by shivfan View Post
    As an aside, he also served as chairman of selectors for a while, and was responsible for selecting Courtney Walsh over Anderson Cummins for the one-off Test against South Africa at Kensington Oval, to commemorate that team's re-admission to Test cricket. The Bajans were outraged that Walsh could be chosen over Cummins, and, led by Tony Cozier, organised a mass boycott of the Test.
    I think you prooooobably mean Kenneth Benjamin, not Walsh. Walsh had been an established Test player for 6 years by that Test and was never under any circumstances going to not be selected, whereas Benjamin was making his debut.

    Always believed Cummins should've played that Test ahead of Benjamin personally, if only because upsetting local crowds so is generally a bad idea.
    Last edited by Richard; 30-07-2009 at 05:01 AM.

  12. #12
    Banned
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    England
    Posts
    2,823
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    I think you prooooobably mean Kenneth Benjamin, not Walsh. Walsh had been an established Test player for 6 years by that Test and was never under any circumstances going to not be selected, whereas Benjamin was making his debut.

    Always believed Cummins should've played that Test ahead of Benjamin personally, if only because upsetting local crowds so is generally a bad idea.
    No, I'm pretty certain it was Walsh....

    He was going thru a lean spell, and the parochialism reared its ugly head in those questioning Walsh's selection. It's stupid, when you think of it!

    I remember Walsh taking a wicket, strolling down to the boundary, and hitting high fives with Holford....

  13. #13
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    2005
    Posts
    80,401
    Walsh had taken 6-51 and 6-101 in the last couple of Tests against Australia in 1991, then averaged a less-than-outstanding but hardly d-i-r-e 32.86 in England. He had played every Test bar 1 (which he missed through injury) out of the 44 since 1986/87, and averaged 24.39.

    Absolutely everything I've ever heard about that Test suggests it was Kenneth Benjamin who beat Cummins to the spot. If there was ever truly any suggestion to drop Walsh for Benjamin and Cummins, I'll be astonished.



Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. David Bain - Not Guilty
    By NZTailender in forum Off Topic
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 07-06-2009, 04:57 AM
  2. Cricket Web Cycling Team
    By Samuel_Vimes in forum General Sports Forum
    Replies: 565
    Last Post: 26-12-2008, 05:52 PM
  3. Horse Racing Sim
    By Slats4ever in forum General Sports Forum
    Replies: 125
    Last Post: 22-05-2008, 04:24 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •