Legendary West Indian fast bowler, Michael Holding has recently criticized the International Cricket Council (ICC) for telling him to not to express his opinion if it is against the umpiring howlers during the 2019 World Cup.
As per the reports in TOI, an email was sent to Holding, as he termed the umpiring in the match between West Indies and Australia as “atrocious”. There were quite a few decisions that went against West Indies and Holding had expressed that the on-field umpires Ruchira Palliyaguruge and Chris Gaffaney couldn’t handle the pressure that was created by repeated appealing from Australians.
Gayle was wrongly given out a couple of times and even the Windies skipper Jason Holder was also given lbw on a ball that had pitched outside leg, which left Holding fuming. Later on, he received a mail from Huw Bevan, the production head for ICC’s rights partner Sunset & Vine Asia, saying: “The importance of maintaining the highest standards and uphold the game’s best values and spirit while covering the tournament.”
The mail further added, “ICC TV’s duty is to reflect the values (above) and “not to cast doubt or negative judgment on anything associated with the tournament in our coverage. Inherently in live television, there are occasions when on-field decisions cause reason for discussion or debate, but as ICC TV host broadcasters, our (Sunset & Vine) duty is not to judge or highlight mistakes.”
After Holding went after both the umpires, Bevan wrote to him saying “this is exactly the kind of thing we need to avoid putting on air”.
In his mail, Bevan said, “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 a bad light. We should also be very careful not to look to create controversy around an event or match at any time.”
In reply, Holding, who is never shy of voicing his opinion sent back a scathing mail to Bevan.
Holding wrote, “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? 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.”