Due to the restrictions in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the bio-bubbles that have become an essential part of all international tours, local umpires have been given the task of officiating international matches. The move aims to keep non-essential travel to a minimum, with local umpires taking charge of home games.
With umpires not allowed to travel across countries, the quality of umpiring has seen a dip in some of the contests that have taken place. West Indian icon Kieron Pollard was not happy with the level of officiating during the three-match T20 series between New Zealand and the West Indies.
Test captain Jason Holder expressed his satisfaction with the umpires during the recently concluded Test series where West Indies lost 2-0. However, the all-rounder admitted that he does not understand why umpires can’t quarantine just like the players when it comes to international assignments.
Jason Holder wants umpires to quarantine like players
The West Indies Test captain when asked about the quality of umpiring and he stated that he was satisfied with the level of officiating. For the New Zealand vs West Indies series, the on-field umpires were Chris Gaffaney, Wayne Knights and Chris Brown.
They were joined by reserve umpires Shaun Haig and Ashley Mehrotra and Jeff Crowe acted as the match referee. However, Jason Holder admitted that he could not understand why players can travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the umpires can’t.
“What I would say about the umpiring, or the situation of the umpires, is that if we can travel and quarantine, I don't see why an opposing (overseas) umpire can't travel and quarantine," said Holder.
Jason Holder conceded that he doesn’t understand why only home umpires are officiating games. The 29-year-old pointed out that if cricketers are getting on the road and making sacrifices, umpires should be expected to do the same.
While acknowledging the restrictions in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jason Holder offered a solution to the problem of only home umpires officiating matches.
"Even if you can get a home and an opposing umpire to do a Test match, then I think that's fair," said Holder.
Jason Holder also pointed out that there are always questionable calls made by the umpires during matches, but thanked the officials for still doing a reasonable job.