Commentator Michael Holding has hit back at the ICC after they asked him not to criticize the umpires on air. 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 did not go down well with Holding who felt that “commentators are being more and more compromised by controlling organizations to the point of censorship.”
In the match between West Indies and Australia, Holding expressed his displeasure when Chris Gayle was dismissed on a free hit ball that was not called. In the email, the former West Indian cricketer wrote: “If those umpires 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. 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?”
He added: “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.” Both parties have now confirmed that the issue has now been resolved amicably.