'They are being intimidated which means they are weak.'
West Indies great Michael Holding slammed what he saw as "atrocious" umpiring during his country's 15-run defeat by Australia in the Cricket World Cup at Nottingham's Trent Bridge on Thursday.
The Sky television commentator did not hold back against New Zealander Chris Gaffaney and Sri Lankan Ruchira Palliyaguruge after West Indies opener Chris Gayle was twice given out LBW before the decisions were overruled by successful challenges.
A third review failed with Gayle walking for 21 off 12 balls, but a subsequent replay showed the previous delivery was a no-ball which should have allowed the batsman a free hit.
"The umpiring in this game has been atrocious," Holding told viewers as West Indies chased Australia's tally of 288.
"Even when I was playing and you were not as strict as they are now, you were allowed one appeal. You don't appeal two, three, four times to the umpire," added the 65-year-old former fast bowler.
"They are being intimidated which means they are weak.
Gayle's first review in the third over came when he was ruled to have been caught behind off Mitchell Starc. Despite a sound being registered, the batsman was adamant he had not touched the ball.
The review found the ball had missed his bat but nicked the stumps, without dislodging the bails.
The second review followed an LBW two balls later, the decision reversed when the ball was seen to be going wide of the wicket.
"I think I'll just say I just found ourselves a bit unlucky to be on the other end of all the decisions," West Indies captain Jason Holder said.
"I guess honest mistakes from the umpires, I don't want to get into the officiating part."