According to the Times of India, Holding lashed on the umpires during the match between West Indies and Australia at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. He called the umpiring in the match as “atrocious”. There were many decisions made by the umpires that went against the Windies.
According to Michael Holding, the two umpires, Ruchira Palliyaguruge, and Chris Gaffaney fell easily for the appeals made by the Australians.
Windies opener, Chris Gayle was wrongly given out two times, however, the left-handed batsman was able to review the decision in his favor. He was then dismissed by Mitchell Starc on a delivery which should have been a free-hit technically. However, the umpires failed to notice that Starc overstepped in the previous delivery, which could have been a clear no-ball. Also Windies skipper, Jason Holder was given lbw on a ball which was clearly pitching outside leg.
Holding, commentating during the match at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 fumed at the umpires. He later received a mail by Huw Bevan, the production head for ICC’s rights partner Sunset & Vine Asia. The mail read, “The importance of maintaining the highest standards and uphold the game’s best values and spirit while covering the tournament.”
He added in the mail, “ICC TV’s duty is to reflect the values and not to cast doubt or negative judgment on anything associated with the tournament in our coverage.”
“Inherently in live television, there are occasions when on-field decisions cause reason for discussion or debate, but as ICC TV host broadcasters, our duty is not to judge or highlight mistakes, ” said Bevan.
Bevan wrote to him saying “this is exactly the kind of thing we need to avoid putting on air”.
“Before the event, we went to great pains to explain to you all as senior production and commentary personnel of the need to avoid this kind of thing. 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. We should also be very careful not to look to create controversy around an event or match at any time,” he added.
Huw continued, “It’s a strong reminder to everybody involved to uphold the strongest of standards in our coverage.”
In a reply to.the email, Holding compared the FIFA officials with that to the ICC officials. He added, “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.
He also demanded high umpiring standards at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. He said, “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?”
Holding was the only commentator to receive an email. He even asked if he should go back and not do commentary at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
He said, “I am sorry, but I am not going to be part of that. Please let me know if I should be heading back to my home in Newmarket instead of heading to Cardiff because I don’t agree with what is being suggested here and happy not being part of it.”
“I was certainly very critical of umpiring which was pathetic, to say the least, “ commented Michael Holding on the low standards of umpiring at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.