Thursday, 19 September, 2019

Fans Put Rain on Top of Points Table After Washouts Rule Roost

Commentators are being more and more compromised: Michael Holding blasts ICC for the gag order Michael Holding responds to ICC ‘censorship’ after criticising umpires
Shannon Reynolds | 14 June, 2019, 09:54

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.

Kiwi umpire Chris Gaffaney and his Sri Lankan counterpart Ruchira Palliyaguruge were given a fearsome tune-up by Holding for their performances in Australia's 15-run win over the West Indies at Nottingham on June 6.

"The umpiring in this game has been atrocious", Holding said on live TV.

Chris Gayle was given out three times, successfully reviewing two of the dismissals. Even Windies captain Jason Holder was wrongly adjudged lbw.

After the Holder drama, Holding teed off with microphone in hand.

This is the first time in a World Cup when more than two matches have been affected by rain.

"They are being intimidated which means they are weak".

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Huw Bevan and Michael Holding (right) has rejected the ICC's suggestion not to criticize the World Cup umpires. In an email, the ICC had stressed "the importance of maintaining the highest standards" and to "uphold the game's best values and spirit while covering the tournament". This is exactly the kind of thing we need to avoid putting on air. "We should also be very careful not to look to create controversy around an event or match at any time", Bevan reportedly said in his email.

In response, 65-year-old Holding defended himself and questioned why commentators are being "compromised by controlling organisations to the point of censorship".

Earlier in the day, the near universal condemnation by fans made the ICC issue a statement explaining its decision why it didn't keep any reserve days to accommodate washed out matches.

"We are allowed to analyse players" strengths and weaknesses, pick apart players' techniques and faults yet when an umpire makes a cockup he is supposed to be protected?'

But Holding, in his reply to Bevan, said: "If those umpires [Palliyaguruge and Gaffaney] were Federation Internationale de Football Association officials, they would have been told to pack their bags and head home". The three abandoned games in this World Cup are an anomaly as far as this tournament goes, considering there were only two before this edition, since its start in 1975. As a former cricketer, I think cricket should be held to a higher standard. But even the English rain was not enough to deter them from whetting their satirical chops and using them against the helpless ICC, which is now left with little option but to fearless the barbs.

Holding admitted he received a mail but says the matter has been resolved.

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