Michael Holding will continue in commentary at the World Cup despite a war of words with the International Cricket Council’s broadcaster following his critical views on the quality of umpiring.
The former West Indies fast bowler described the umpiring in the match between the Australia and the West Indies as ‘atrocious’ after a plethora of errors by the on-field officials.
The Windies had many decisions overturned by the third umpire, while on-field umpire Chris Gaffney missed a big no-ball delivery before Chris Gayle was dismissed.
According to the Times of India, Huw Bevan, the production head at the ICC rights partner Sunset & Vine, sent Holding an email about ‘the importance of maintaining the highest standards and upholding the game’s best values and spirit while covering the tournament.
‘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,’ the mail read further.
Holding, however, hit back and replied: ‘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? Commentators are being more and more compromised by controlling organisations, to the point of censorship.’
Holding, however, will continue to commentate in the tournament after the ICC said the matter has been resolved.