Commentator Michael Holding Slams ICC

Bristol rain

West Indies legend Michael Holding hit back at the International Cricket Council (ICC) after the governing body's attempt to gag him.

Earlier in the day, the near universal condemnation by fans made the ICC issue a statement explaining its decision why it didn't keep any reserve days to accommodate washed out matches.

Holding, who called the umpiring "atrocious", expressed the belief that the officials were being pressured by strong appeals from the players.

Holding had further slammed the umpires for caving in to pressure and raising their fingers after repeated appeals from the Aussies.

But Holding has no plans to tone down his commentary or toe the company line, according to The Times of India.

'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, ' the mail read further. "Our duty at ICC TV is to reflect these values and not to cast doubt or negative judgement on anything associated with the tournament in our coverage.' 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".

"We have only requested them to be fair in their comment". In 2007, months after the West Indies organised their first World Cup, Holding had lashed out at the West Indies Cricket Board (now Cricket West Indies) accusing it of not doing enough to develop the kind of infrastructure required to grow quality cricketers fit to play internationally.

But Holding, in his reply to Bevan, said: "If those umpires [Palliyaguruge and Gaffaney] were Federation Internationale de Football Association officials, they would have been told to pack their bags and head home".

The previous highest number of abandoned games in a World Cup was two, in 1992 and 2003.

The ICC has defended its decision not to schedule reserve days for World Cup group matches, citing "extremely unseasonable weather". He said, "As a former cricketer, I think cricket should be held to a higher standard. '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. He even asked if he should go back and not do commentary at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. "Please let me know if I should be heading 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", Holding's email reply to Bevan reportedly said.

While West Indies captain Jason Holder was subdued in his criticism, all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite had blasted the umpiring standard during the team's 15-run loss.

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