Cricket is often termed as a gentlemen’s sport, intwined with the fabric of a well-exported notion of “Britishness”. Players in pristine uniform cordially greeting each other in a well-rehearsed display that sets the scene for fair and open play whilst the world looks on in awe. One could even argue that cricket is a cultural phenomenon that looks to bridge the gaps of public diplomacy across the commonwealth and beyond. Which is why, when we look at the game today, with allegations of racism and neglect from the heart of cricket in the ECB. We must wonder whether the game itself and our understanding of Britishness really stands the test of investigation.
For this podcast I am joined by the legend that is John Holder, who helps me understand the deeper issues at play which have been neglected by mainstream media.
About John Holder
As a player for Hampshire County Cricket Club (1968–1972) Holder was a brisk right arm medium pace bowler. In the 1970 season, Holder took 55 wickets at 23.27 runs. His best bowling figures were 6 for 49 and 7 for 79 against Gloucestershire in 1972. In 1972, Holder also took a hat-trick against Kent. His career average as a bowler saw him take 139 first-class wickets at 24.56.
Holder became a first-class umpire in 1983 and was promoted to officiate his first test-match in 1988. He stood as umpire in eleven Test matches and nineteen One Day Internationals. Holder was appointed by the International Cricket Council as one of five worldwide regional umpires’ performance managers and is responsible for monitoring and improving the performances of umpires in Europe, the Caribbean, America and Canada.
He co-authored the book You Are The Umpire with the illustrator Paul Trevillion. The book was based on a comic strip that was included in the sports section of the British newspaper The Observer and bears similarities with You Are The Ref as both highlight unusual or difficult decisions that have to be made by sporting officials.
Holder is credited, along with Don Oslear, with the idea of a ‘bowl-out’ to decide a drawn match after the Tilcon Trophy final had been washed out by rain. The organisers had ordered them to think of another way of settling the match rather than the traditional and sometimes unpopular means of the toss of a coin. This idea was subsequently adopted into all England and Wales Cricket Board competitions.
In 2000, Holder was consultant on the film The Laws of Cricket, 2000 Code which was shot in Barbados. The film featured an interview with Holder and Sir Garfield Sobers, and was directed by award-winning British film director Marcus Dillistone.
Holder retired at the end of the 2009 season after 27 years as a first-class umpire.[4
About the Global Indian Series:
My name is Rajan Nazran Chief Explorer for the Global Indian Series, the official platform for people of Indian origin (PIO), because let’s face it, we are everywhere!
For almost 15 years we have travelled across the globe covering 58 countries to date whilst exploring the kaleidoscope of our remarkable 50 shades of brown community.
Voyaging to the edges of the Amazon, facing Ebola in West Africa, being held hostage in Eastern Europe, tapping rubber in Malaysia, drinking chai with Heads of State and sharing laughter with local fishermen – I have been there, looking for us!
Our purpose is simple, to build a living encyclopaedia of the human experience of the community and a safe mooring ground for open discussions, whether you are an NRI, Indian Diaspora, person of Indian origin (PIO) or a fan of South Asian anthropology, what we do is bring people and communities together.
We do this by plunging into the human experience of being a person of Indian origin (PIO), taking a second look at the countries we now call home and tackling the conversations we need to know more about.
Through our range of award-winning original content (print, podcasts, events and TV) and fascinating discussions, our impactful stories and platforms have spearheaded national and international conversations that have brought people together. Our work is featured in global brands including The Indian Express through to the CNBC network.
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Special thank you to TAIZU for the music
Presenter – Rajan Nazran
Producer –Global Indian Series/NazranRoth
Guests – John Holder
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