Outspoken commentator Michael Holding has hit back at suggestions he should not criticise the umpiring at the World Cup even if it is in his own words ‘atrocious’.
That was the word Holding used to describe some of the decision making by umpires Chris Gaffaney and Ruchira Palliyaguruge in the game between Australia and the West Indies when Chris Gayle was dismissed by a ball that should have been a free hit owing to a previous no ball.
The error was highlighted by the TV production and the forthright Holding gave his honest views, but this clearly didn’t go down well.
The Times of India have reported an email that was sent by Huw Bevan, the production head of ICC’s rights partner Sunset and Vine Asia where he states: “ICC TV’s duty is to reflect the game’s best values” and “not to cast doubt or negative judgement on anything associated with the tournament in our coverage.”
Holding responded in a way that befits a no-nonsense former fast bowler when he wrote back: “I am sorry, but I am not going to be part of that.
“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.”
Both Holding and the ICC have called the matter closed and he will continue to commentate on the tournament.