Cricket is a game of batsmen, bowlers and fielders, but it’s umpires who often become the talking point after the conclusion of a match. One decision of the match officials can turn out to be a make or break moment in the game. However, in the Australia vs West Indies World Cup match on Thursday, there was not one, but as many as five incorrect decisions, with both Chris Gaffaney and Ruchira Palliyaguruge to blame for decisions that could’ve resulted in a different winner. Virender Sehwag, Kieron Pollard, Michael Holding, Scott Styris were among the cricketers who expressed their unhappiness over the umpiring decisions and termed it as ‘poor’, ‘atrocious’ and ‘blatantly alarming.’ Dhanush also termed it as ‘poor umpiring at its level best.’
Even before the entire match got over, former Indian opener Sehwag wrote, “4 overturned reviews so far shows how the umpiring has been. Far too many mistakes. Very poor. And this is a World Cup. #AUSvWI.”
Pollard, who is not a part of the West Indies team, wrote, “Time and time again we tend to be on the wrong end of decisions... and the masses are not vociferous bcuz y.” He added, “Poor decision making in this game and it continues ... it is blatantly alarming.”
Holding, commentating on air, was quoted as saying, "The umpiring in this game has been atrocious."
The former West Indian great bowler also said, "You don't appeal two, three, four times to the umpire. They are being intimidated which means they are weak. This has been an atrocious bit of umpiring by both."
Styris wrote, “As a player, Nobody wouldve got grumpier than I at the standard of umpiring in The WI vs Aust match. Gaffaney is usually an outstanding umpire.
However, as I’ve read on Twitter, the West Indies are only in this tournament due to poor umpiring in the qualifiers in Zim. #steadyon.”
Dhanush took a sarcastic jibe at the umpiring, “I hope that umpire is happy who dint want West Indies to win at any cost !! #congratsumpire .. well fought windies. Had to be looked into. #icc poor umpiring at its level best. Oh biased as well.”
Gayle was given out leg before wicket twice off the bowling of Mitchell Starc, before he reviewed the decisions (DRS) both times and got it overturned. However, he was third time unlucky as the decision stood in the Australian's favour. But the umpires failed to detect a humongous no ball the previous ball, which means, the ball which the West Indian got dismissed actually should’ve been a free hit, on which he can’t be dismissed, except on a run out.
Later in the match, captain Holder also successfully reviewed two leg-before wicket decisions.
Rishi Kapoor had also termed the umpiring as ‘racist’.
Holder and Carlos Brathwaite too expressed their ‘frustration’ over it.
Brathwaite stated, "To lose Chris in a chase of 280, who can probably get 180 of them himself obviously, broke the start that we wanted to have. But the umpires do their job, they try to do it to the best of their ability, we as players go out there to do our job as well, so there was no confrontation between the players and the umpires."
Captain Holder said, "I think I'll just say I just found ourselves a bit unlucky to be on the other end of all the decisions. I guess honest mistakes from the umpires, I don't 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."