Umpires entitled to refuse to hold bowler’s items

John Holder

Umpires are at liberty to refuse to carry bowler’s cap or sweater when he comes into bowl, says former international cricket umpire John Holder. 

There has been a possibility of umpires refusing the same at least for few months once the games resume after the extradition of COVID-19. 

Speaking exclusveily over telephone from England, where the Barbados-born umpire now lives, said, “Cricket is a game of great traditions and one such tradition is that umpires have always held bowlers’ equipment when they are bowling. However the umpire is entitled to refuse to hold that equipment if  it is clearly unsanitary, dirty or excessive”. 

“On many occasions during my career I have refused to hold a bowler’s sweaters after he has finished his spell, advising him to call the 12th man and have him take it off the field”, Holder, who officiated in 11 Tests and 19 ODIs, said. 

“However, I cannot see the corona virus causing any change in the practice of umpires holding bowlers’ equipment while he is bowling. In fact I can see there being no cricket until it is safe for everyone, players, umpires and spectators”.

“Cricket will resume when the scientists and governments in consultation with the Cricket Boards around the world agree that it is safe to be played as it has been for hundreds of years. There must be no threat to the health or well being of any participants or spectators”, Holder, who also played 47 First-Class matches signed off. 

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