In a rather unfortunate turn of events, a war of words seems to have broken out between the International Cricket Council (ICC), and one of the lead commentators for the Cricket World Cup.
Michael Holding, one of the top commentators in the game today, was sent a letter by the ICC following his comment that the umpiring in the game between West Indies and Australia was “atrocious”.
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“We had an incident in the (WI vs Aus) match where we highlighted on air during an analysis segment (which Holding denies) that a no-ball should have been called,” the letter said, as is being reported by Times of India. It further goes on to say that “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 bad light. We should also be very careful not to look to create controversy around an event or match at any time.”
In response, Michael Holding did not hold back, launching a scathing response to a letter he felt was in very poor taste.
“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. 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 responded.
“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.”
ICC sources have since said that “the matter is considered closed.”