World Cup 2019: Michael Holding slams ICC after being asked to ‘ignore’ umpiring errors – Report

Former West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding reportedly slammed the International Cricket Council (ICC) in an e-mail after being asked by the cricket board to not criticise umpiring errors during live commentary. The cricketer-turned-commentator had called the umpiring “atrocious” during Windies’ World Cup match against Pakistan, in which Chris Gayle was adjudged LBW on a delivery from Mitchell Starc, that should have been a free hit, since the bowler had overstepped in the previous delivery.

Holding had further slammed the umpires for caving in to pressure and raising their fingers after repeated appeals from the Aussies.

READ | Umpiring howlers leave Windies baffled, furious

As per a report from Times of India, an e-mail was sent out to Holding immediately after the match by Huw Bevan, the production head for ICC”s rights partner Sunset & Vine Asia, in which he wrote: “Before the event, we went to great pains to explain to you all as senior production and commentary personnel of the need to avoid this kind of thing. It’s critical for us that we should never amplify umpires’ mistakes by giving airtime to those incidents nor show the umpires in bad light. We should also be very careful not to look to create controversy around an event or match at any time.”

In reply to the email, Holding reportedly wrote: “If those umpires yesterday were FIFA officials, they would have been told to pack their bags and head home. They would not have been given another World Cup game to officiate. As a former cricketer, I think cricket should be held to a higher standard. Is the objective to protect the umpires even when they do a bad job?”

WATCH | Umpiring howler costs Chris Gayle his wicket at Trent Bridge

He further added: “I am sorry, but I am not going to be part of that. Please let me know if I should be heading back to my home in Newmarket instead of heading to Cardiff because I don’t agree with what is being suggested here and happy not being part of it.”

However, both Holding and the ICC confirmed to TOI, later, that the matter has been “deemed closed” now and both the parties have resolved the issue.

First Published:
Jun 13, 2019 11:57 IST

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