Kieron Pollard wasn’t terribly pleased by the umpiring during the three-match T20I series in New Zealand, and while Jason Holder had no major complaints about the umpiring in the two Tests, he has been left wondering why umpires can’t travel during the Covid-19 pandemic if players can.
“The umpiring, Polly [Pollard] for sure had a few question marks over the umpiring in the T20 series. But look, I try to be as far down the line. What I would say about the umpiring, or the situation of the umpires, is that if we can travel and do a quarantine, I don’t see why an opposing (overseas) umpire can’t travel and do the quarantine,” Holder said after West Indies were beaten by an innings and 12 runs in the second and final Test in Wellington on Monday’s fourth day.
Since cricket resumed after the initial global lockdown, local umpires have officiated in all international matches to keep inessential travel in check. For the New Zealand vs West Indies Tests, for example, the on-field umpires were Chris Gaffaney, Wayne Knights and Chris Brown, while Shaun Haig and Ashley Mehrotra were the reserve umpires, and Jeff Crowe the match referee.
“I still don’t understand a situation where we’re just having home umpires. If players are making the sacrifice and going on the road and continuing cricket then I feel as though the umpires should do the same,” Holder said. “Even if it’s a case where you get a home and an opposing umpire to do a Test match then I think that’s fair.
“The umpiring in the Test series, I can’t really say it’s been horrible. Obviously, in any Test series, you get decisions that you would always question, but the umpires put up their hands and did a reasonable job.”
Holder, who scored 103 runs in four innings with one half-century (in the final innings) to average 34.33 but went wicketless over 58 overs of bowling in Hamilton and Wellington, said he was pleased with the team’s “good patches” in the series, but disappointed overall – New Zealand had won the first Test by an innings and 134 runs.
“I thought our bowlers were outstanding, just tough that we didn’t take our opportunities when they came. Just shows that if you give quality players two-three-four hands in one Test match, they will make you pay for it,” Holder said. “Then the way we batted in the first innings definitely didn’t set up the game well. Pitch was a really good pitch, but I was really, really pleased the way we played in the second innings. The way John Campbell (68) went about it; I gave him nice support (61) because I thought he was just shaping to put something together big for us. It was good to see him knuckle down again, go through the same processes and get a score. Would like him to go on a little longer, but still pleased with the way he applied himself.
“Likewise Joshua da Silva (57) in his second innings – I was really, really pleased with both debutants actually – though Josh was outstanding and Chemar Holder (2 for 110) was very, very outstanding for us as well. Positives: good in patches, but still not good enough.”