Holding attacks Windies pitches
Exclusive by Scott Heinrich BBC Sport in Barbados
Guyana Chronicle
May 4, 2003

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FORMER fast bowling great Michael Holding has labelled the current Barbados pitch as the worst he has ever seen in the West Indies.

Last week, Aussie skipper Steve Waugh suggested the proliferation of slow pitches in the Caribbean was undermining the development of young pacemen.

Lawson finished with a flurry to claim three wickets, but the young duo's combined figures were 3-230

"We have always had slow pitches in Guyana and Trinidad (the venues for the first two Tests) and that won't change," Holding told the BBC Sport website.

"But the Barbados pitch in this Test match is the worst I have ever seen in this country.

"I just hope this is the last time and we go back to producing good pitches."

Although Best and Lawson were left bruised by Australia, Holding said the selectors were right to pick them.

"If we don't give these youngsters a chance to show what they are capable of, we will never know," he said.

"Having said that, it is unfortunate bowlers like Lawson and Best don't have a senior bowler in the West Indies that they can learn from.

"Merv Dillon is supposed to be the most senior bowler in the West Indies but he had been a disappointment.

The selectors have realised they cannot win the series, so they just went for two young bowlers to see what they could do.

"It is a shame they haven't been given a proper pitch for them to do their best."

The bowlers the two firebrands replaced, Dillon and Pedro Collins, had series averages of 65 and 235 respectively before being dropped.

Holding said the selectors erred badly in keeping hold of them after the first Test in Guyana.

"The selection of the team in Trinidad was absolute rubbish," he said.

"You can't select a team of eight batsmen and three bowlers and expect to win a Test match.

"To be hoping for a draw promotes negative cricket and that is not the right way for West Indies cricket to progress.

"At least if West Indies lose in Barbados they will have a good excuse for doing so."

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