Cricket legend Michael Holding has slammed the match officials for their “atrocious” umpiring during the World Cup clash between Australia and West Indies.
On Thursday, several umpiring howlers were made as West Indies lost by 15 runs at Trent Bridge.
Both on-field umpires, Chris Gaffaney and Ruchira Palliyaguruge, ended up getting two decisions overturned per head, with the New Zealand official also failing to notice a very obvious no-ball call, the ball before Mitchell Starc got Chris Gayle out.
The big-hitting West Indies opener was in fact, given out three times and reviewed all three decisions, the first two clearly finding Gaffaney in the wrong.
The first review was taken for a caught-behind decision, where replays showed the ball scraping past the off-stump and missing the bat enroute to Australian wicket-keeper Alex Carey’s gloves.
The next came a full-toss that smashed into Gayle’s heel, with the impact clearly outside leg-stump which was initially given out but was later over-turned.
In the next over, the lbw call against Gayle stayed with the ball shown clipping the leg-stump. However, a replay of the previous delivery showed Starc’s front-foot had landed quite a few inches outside the popping crease, and meant that the 35-year-old had got out to a potential free-hit delivery.
Holding, while commentating, criticised the umpires after captain Jason Holder successfully reviewed an LBW decision when he was initially given out — incorrectly — for the second time.
Umpires intimidated by Australia’s appealing: Holding
According to Holding, both the on-field umpires caved under pressure.
“I am sorry but the umpiring in this game has been atrocious,” news.com.au quoted Holding as saying in commentary during the TV broadcast.
“For one, even when I was playing and they were not as strict as they are now, you were allowed one appeal. You don’t appeal two, three, four times to the umpire. That is the first thing.
“They are being intimidated (by Australia’s appealing), that means they are weak. This has been an atrocious bit of umpiring by both,” he added.
Umpiring was frustrating: Carlos Brathwaite
West Indies all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite also vented his anger against the umpires.
“I don’t know if I’ll be fined for saying it, but I just think that the umpiring was a bit frustrating,” Brathwaite told reporters after the match.
“Even when we were bowling we thought a few balls close to head height were called wides.
“Obviously three decisions … as far as I can remember being dodgy. It was frustrating. It sent ripples through the dressing room,” he added.
He also said that it was just frustrating for the team to see so many decisions going against them.
“To lose Chris in a chase of 280 — he could probably get 180 of them himself,” he said.
“Whatever is to be done will be done, whatever is to be seen will be seen but as players we just need to get on with it. Obviously we were frustrated,” he added.
He also cast doubt over how the Decision Review System (DRS) affected his team not just on Thursday, but in the past as well.
“Every time we get hit on our pad the finger goes up, when we hit the opposition on their pad the finger stays down,” Brathwaite said.
“So we have to use our reviews and it’s always missing and then we have to use our reviews when we’re batting as well and it’s always clipping.
“I’m not a technology person, I can’t say why that happens, I can just say what I have seen happen over the past few years,” he added.
Chasing 289 for victory, Shai Hope, who came to bat at the number three spot, scored an impressive 68 and skipper Holder threatened to win the game off his own bat before he got out after scoring 51.
Starc was the pick of the Australian bowlers and bowled brilliantly at the death, picking up key wickets to finish with figures of 5/46 as the Caribbean team finished their stipulated quota of 50 overs at 9/273.