Umpires slammed as Aussies trump West Indies

Cricket legend Michael Holding slammed the umpires in Australia’s tense World Cup clash against the West Indies, branding them “atrocious” and “weak” after several controversial calls before star all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite also took an angry swipe at the men in charge.

Holding, a former Windies fast bowler turned commentator, unleashed on the officials after captain Jason Holder successfully reviewed an LBW decision when he was initially given out — incorrectly — for the second time.

Holding criticised the umpires for caving under pressure and he also took aim at the Aussies for over-appealing in their thrilling 15-run win over the side from the Caribbean.

“I am sorry but the umpiring in this game has been atrocious,” Holding said 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.”

Holding’s spray came after umpire Ruchira Palliyaguruge took his time raising his finger as Adam Zampa and his teammates appealed for an LBW decision when Holder missed a sweep shot. Holder threw his head back in dismay and consulted with his partner before going upstairs, where Hawkeye said the ball was missing leg stump.

That decision arrived after Holder had survived an earlier LBW appeal when facing Glenn Maxwell. Bowling from around the wicket, the Aussie all-rounder struck Holder on the pad but on that occasion Hawkeye said the ball had pitched outside leg stump and the skipper was allowed to remain at the crease.

Holder’s ordeal with Palliyaguruge followed opener Chris Gayle’s battle with umpire Chris Gaffaney up the other end at the start of the innings.

In his 17-ball 21, Gayle was given out three times. First he was judged to have inside edged Mitchell Starc to wicketkeeper Alex Carey, but upon review, the ball missed the bat and the noise that could be heard was the pill scraping Gayle’s off stump.

The zing bails, which flash red when dislodged, didn’t budge. It was yet another example of the innovative item falling the way of the batsman rather than the bowler.

Earlier in the tournament South Africa’s Quinton de Kock inside edged a ball onto his stumps but the bails stayed in place. The same thing happened when Sri Lankan star Dimuth Karunaratne was batting against New Zealand.

Gayle escaped on that occasion and successfully used up life number two when he challenged Gaffaney’s decision after being given out LBW. Starc’s yorker was shown to be missing leg stump by a fair way.

It was third time lucky for Australia when Gayle unsuccessfully reviewed another LBW shout. This time Starc had his man — but he shouldn’t have been so fortunate.

Replays showed the previous delivery was a huge no-ball, with Starc overstepping the crease by a huge distance. That should have made the next ball a free hit for Gayle but instead he perished. (Courtesy news.com.au)

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