Michael Holding umpire criticism, warning from ICC

World Cup CEO Richardson expresses reservation over inclusion of reserve days in schedule

World Cup CEO Richardson expresses reservation over inclusion of reserve days in schedule

"I am sorry, but I am not going to be part of that".

Holding, who called the umpiring "atrocious", expressed the belief that the officials were being pressured by strong appeals from the players. They are being intimidated - that means they are weak'.

West Indies opener Chris Gayle was given out twice, while facing an over from Mitchell Starc, with both calls later overturned via the decisions review system.

The Times of India reported that the ICC subsequently sent a memo out to all commentators.

He then received a mail from Huw Bevan, the production head for ICC's rights partner Sunset & Vine Asia, saying: "The importance of maintaining the highest standards and uphold the game's best values and spirit while covering the tournament".

"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", it read. 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", he added.

The memo led a number of cricket fans to point out Australia's ball-tampering saga, sparked by eagle-eyed South African cameramen, may have been glossed over under ICC rules. Holder later noted that it seemed all the erroneous calls in the match had gone against the West Indies.

Holding issued a firm reply, telling Bevan: 'I have been doing commentary now for approaching three decades, and I see where commentators are being more and more compromised by controlling organisations to the point of censorship and I do not intend to go down that road.

In a terse reply Holding questioned why he was the only commentator included on the email chain and added: "If those umpires yesterday were Federation Internationale de Football Association officials, they would have been told to pack their bags and head home".

"Factoring in a reserve day for every match at the World Cup would significantly increase the length of the tournament and practically would be extremely complex to deliver", ICC's outgoing Chief Executive Dave Richardson said in a statement. I think it's pretty obvious that when you play a team like the West Indies you want to play a full 100-over game. Is the objective to protect the umpires even when they do a bad job? "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".