Umpiring is wide off the mark at World Cup

SPORTS Bristol: Umpiring standards seem to have taken a dip in the West Indies-Australia match, similar to what happened during the recent Indian Premier League matches.

Following the narrow defeat for the West Indies, a lot of fans here are saying that, but for the officials, Australia may not have won the match. At Trent Bridge on Thursday, Australia’s margin of victory was just 15 runs.

After the poor umpiring in this match became a major talking point here, many now fear that officiating in the World Cup may also go the IPL way where umpires committed a number of blunders.

West Indies lamented that their Universe Boss Chris Gayle would not have been out leg before had Mitchell Starc’s previous delivery, which was a no-ball, not escaped the notice of the umpires.

Instead of getting a free-hit, Gayle was out to the next delivery. West Indies player Carlos Brathwaite also remarked that a few balls close to head height were called wides.

According to the West Indies, three decisions were questionable.

It may have been a bad day for the umpires, but it ended with as a bad loss for West Indies after a closely fought match. A win over defending champions Australia would have boosted their confidence. Former West Indies captain Michael Holding termed the umpiring in the match as ‘atrocious’.

Did the umpires crack under the pressure created by the Australians through their prolonged appeals? The two on-field umpires were Chris Gaffaney and Ruchira Palliyaguruge with the TV umpire being Marais Erasmus.

In fact, the Australians appealed two to four times for a decision to put them under pressure. The West Indies believe all decisions were one-sided.

Although West Indies skipper Jason Holder did not openly hit out at the four DRS referrals, he did remark: “I’ll just say I found ourselves a bit unlucky to be on the other end of all the decisions. I guess they could be honest mistakes from the umpires. I do not want to get into the officiating part, but it’s just ironic. I don’t even know what to say about it, but it is a funny situation where all of them went against us, and then we had to review them, but I guess that’s part of the game again.”

Commenting on Gayle’s dismissal incident, Holder said: “I saw it on the screen in the dressing room, and I just laughed. Man … I couldn’t believe it. But as I said, things didn’t go our way today.”

Meanwhile, Australia leg-spinner Adam Zampa has been reprimanded for breaching Level 1 of the ICC Code of Conduct during this match for using an audible obscenity in the 29th over.

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