Published: Fri, June 14, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Michael Holding won't be muzzled over comments about Kiwi umpire Chris Gaffaney

Michael Holding won't be muzzled over comments about Kiwi umpire Chris Gaffaney

Michael Holding has fired back at the ICC, which requested the veteran commentator to soften his tone on umpiring at the ongoing World Cup.

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

The former pace bowler, a high-profile TV analyst, labelled the officiating in the match between West Indies and Australia at Trent Bridge on June 6, as "atrocious". They are being intimidated - that means they are weak.' Bevan's email, which was leaked to the Times of India, began: "This is to remind you of the importance of maintaining the highest of standards and to uphold the game's best values and spirit in all that we do while covering the tournament".

He further added that ICC TV's duty is to "not to cast doubt or negative judgement on anything associated with the tournament in our coverage". It further goes on to say that "this is exactly the kind of thing we need to avoid putting on air".

"It's a strong reminder to everybody involved to uphold the strongest of standards in our coverage".

Holding was reportedly contacted via email by the ICC and asked to refrain from criticising the umpires - Chris Gaffaney and Ruchira Palliyaguruge - on that occasion.

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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".

Legendary Pakistan seamer Waqar Younis believes the national team have to recall spinner Shadab Khan for their World Cup clash against India on Sunday.

The ICC has defended its decision not to schedule reserve days for World Cup group matches, citing "extremely unseasonable weather".

"Shadab is the key man in this side and I think they will look to bring him back in against India".

Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne said reserve days were "not easy", but added they "would be good for everyone".

The Caribbeans were at the receiving end of some terrible umpiring decisions and lost the match by 15 runs. In his reply, he refused to abide by the ICC's suggestions and said he would rather prefer to head home instead of paying heed to the global body's words. "'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. In 2007, months after the West Indies organised their first World Cup, Holding had lashed out at the West Indies Cricket Board (now Cricket West Indies) accusing it of not doing enough to develop the kind of infrastructure required to grow quality cricketers fit to play internationally.

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