Michael Holding hit back at the International Cricket Council for asking him to cut down on the criticism of umpires on air, calling it “censorship”, according to a report in The Times of India.
The ICC in an e-mail to Holding and his colleagues reminded them of “the importance of maintaining the highest standards and uphold the game’s best values and spirit while covering the tournament” earlier this week.
But the West Indian who is known to be vocal in his opinions, wrote in his reply “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. Holder was given out leg-before off Adam Zampa whereas replays showed the ball had been pitched outside the leg-stump.
“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?” Holding wrote in the e-mail accessed by the newspaper.
Holding 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.”
However, both the ICC and the former cricketer confirmed that the matter is now resolved, and both parties are ready to move on.