Michael Holding responds to ICC ‘censorship’ after criticising umpires

ICC World Cup 2019,points table,run-scorers

Holding added that such requests are why "commentators are being more and more compromised by controlling organisations to the point of censorship".

Holding was critical of the umpires during West Indies' game against Australia last week where Chris Gayle was dismissed on a delivery that should have been a Free-Hit after Mitchell Starc had overstepped while bowling the previously delivery.

He termed the umpiring as "atrocious" after several decisions went against West Indies following which the production head of ICC's rights partner Sunset & Vine Asia Huw Bevan shot an email addressed to Holding, according to a report in The Times of India.

The issue has since been sorted out and Holding will continue commentating, the source added.

It continued: "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".

Referring to the no-ball incident, Bevan wrote: 'For the avoidance of doubt, this is exactly the kind of thing that we need to avoid putting to air. "It's a strong reminder to everybody involved to uphold the strongest of standards in our coverage".

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In a terse reply Holding questioned why he was the only commentator included on the email chain and added: "If those umpires yesterday were Federation Internationale de Football Association officials, they would have been told to pack their bags and head home".

The second week at the ICC World Cup 2019 failed to impress the fans, thanks to the relentless rain. Former Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Akhtar swept the rumours aside by saying that it is impossible to manipulate wickets in England and India won because they were a better side on the day. Is the objective to protect the umpires even when they do a bad job?

"I guess honest mistakes from the umpires, I don't want to get into the officiating part, but it's just ironic", the all-rounder said after his team's defeat.

Holding's commitment to principle has always been established.

"Yes, we've had one game rained off which was very important for us - every game now is very important for us, so yes you can say that". You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours. Holding was referring to the ball tampering incident involving umpire Darrel Hair.

"The matter with Holding has been settled and there are no hard feelings between the ICC and Mr Holding". Neither the ICC nor Holding offered further comment on the situation.

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