Michael Holding is of the opinion that the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is citing reasons without any substance for having pulled out from the Pakistan tour. The former West Indies great further added that the ‘western arrogance’ of the ECB is the main reason behind the cancellation.
New Zealand had called off their white-ball tour of Pakistan, minutes before the toss of the first ODI in Rawalpindi on September 17, citing security concerns.
Later, England announced their decision to abandon their men's and women's tour of Pakistan tour due to concerns over mental and physical well-being. The men's team was scheduled to play two T20Is in October, on their first trip of the country since 2006.
Commenting on the withdrawal, former West Indies cricketer Michael Holding slammed at the ECB, and stated that the board is hiding behind the statement.
"The ECB statement doesn't wash with me. No substance. Nobody wants to come forward and face up to anything because they know what they did was wrong. So they put out a statement and hid behind a statement. It just reminds me of the rubbish they did with Black Lives Matter," Holding was quoted as saying by BBC Sport.
He further added that the ‘western arrogance’ is one of the reasons which resulted in the cancellation of England’s tour of Pakistan.
"I won't go back into that because I've said enough about that. But what that signal sends to me, is the same Western arrogance. I will treat you how I feel like treating you, it doesn't matter what you think, I'll just do what I want," Holding further said.
Earlier this year in July, Pakistan toured England for a three-match ODI and T20I series. The hosts won the ODI series by 3-0, and they clinched the T20I series by 2-1. Pakistan had toured England for a three-match Test series and T20I series last year too, despite the covid-19 pandemic gathering its pace.
Reflecting on the current situation, Holding said that England would have not done the same to the Indian cricket board, as they are rich and powerful.
"Pakistan went to England before vaccines were available for six or seven weeks. They stayed, they played their cricket, they honoured what England wanted them to honour, to save England's butt, to put it mildly. Four days in Pakistan? I'm absolutely sure they would not have done that to India because India is rich and powerful,” the 67-year-old said.
The ECB had cited players' mental fatigue as the major reason of the cancellation.
"We know there are increasing concerns about travelling to the region and believe that going ahead will add further pressure to a playing group who have already coped with a long period of operating in restricted Covid environments.
"We understand that this decision will be a significant disappointment to the PCB, who have worked tirelessly to host the return of international cricket in their country.
"Their support of English and Welsh cricket over the last two summers has been a huge demonstration of friendship," ECB said in a statement.