ICC Under Fire for Decision to Ban Skipper Holder

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Jason Holder

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Test legend Shane Warne has led a chorus of international criticism over the International Cricket Council’s decision to impose a one-match ban on West Indies captain Jason Holder for a slow over-rate in the just concluded second Test in Antigua.

The ICC announced Monday that West Indies had been two overs short of their required quota during the contest at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground which West Indies won emphatically by 10 wickets with two days to spare.

Holder, as captain, was fined 40 per cent of his match fee – double that of his players – and slapped with the ban as the breach was the second for the Windies in the last 12 months. He will now miss the final Test starting next weekend in St Lucia.

“The test didn’t go 3 days – can you please appeal this @JaseHolder98!” tweeted Warne, the all-time wicket-taker in Tests with 708 victims from 145 matches.

“What a ridiculous decision – where’s the common sense here ? Ps Congrats on a wonderful series win too. International cricket needs a strong Windies team & hopefully this is just the start.”

He added: “The fans at the ground saw some awesome cricket from you & your team. No one at the ground would have felt short changed whatsoever. What a ridiculous decision & I hope this will be overturned!”

Former England captain Michael Vaughn, also slammed the ICC’s decision as “bonkers”, arguing the fact the match lasted less than three days made the over-rate breach irrelevant.

“For a game that finished inside 3 days I find this absolutely bonkers …,” said Vaughn, who scored over 5700 runs from 82 Tests.

“246 over Test Match .. that amounts to 2.6 days of Cricket .. A team hammers the opposition & plays great Test cricket yet the Captain gets a ban for Slow over rate .. @Jaseholder98 can find himself very very unlucky on this occasion .. !! The game really doesn’t help itself …”

Prominent commentator, Mike Haysman, meanwhile called for a review of the controversial ICC rule.

“So this situation is totally wrong. The ICC needs to seriously look at this deal,” he tweeted.
“It makes no sense to suspend leaders who excel inside the stipulated 5 days. Just makes no sense to rob the team of a captain like this. Review please now.”

Another former England captain, Mike Atherton, who is covering the three-Test series as a pundit for Sky Sports, called the ban “ridiculous”.

“It seems ridiculous to me that the game England can’t extend beyond the third day, you have a captain banned for slow over-rates,” Atherton said.

Holder has been the seminal figure in the series, not only with his superb handling of the side but with excellent performances on the field.

He hit a monumental unbeaten double hundred in the opening Test in Bridgetown, to lay the foundation for the Windies’ crushing 381-run victory inside four days.

And he was superb with the ball in the second Test, especially in the second innings, when he broke the backbone of the England batting with an excellent spell after lunch to finish with five wickets in the game.

The ICC said Holder did not contest the charge and as a result, no formal hearing was needed.

West Indies face England in the final Test starting Saturday, having already won the series and reclaimed the coveted Wisden Trophy. – CMC

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