West Indies legend Michael Holding says EnglandPakistan’s decision to cancel its white-ball tour smelled of “Western arrogance” and the country would never have done the same to a “rich and powerful” India.
England’s men’s and women’s teams were to tour Pakistan this month, but their cricket board (ECB) canceled both series, citing the players’ “mental and physical well-being” and safety concerns.
“The ECB’s statement does not wash with me. No substance,” Holding was quoted as saying by BBC Sport after receiving the Cricket Writers’ Club Peter Smith Award on Tuesday.
“No one wants to come forward and face anything because they know what they did was wrong. So he made a statement and hid behind a statement. It just reminds me of the crap they did with Black Lives Matter,” he said.
“I won’t go back into it because I’ve said enough about it. But the signal it sends me is the same Western ego.
I will treat you the way I want to treat you, it doesn’t matter what you think, I will do what I want to,” he said.
The ECB’s decision to skip the tour came three days after New Zealand pulled out of the last-minute tour of Pakistan due to security concerns.
If the tour had taken place, it would have been the first time since 2005 that England’s men would have played in Pakistan, while their women would never have played in that country.
Expressing sympathy for Pakistan, said that if India had been there, England would not have dared to cancel the tour.
Holding, who played 60 Tests for the West Indies before becoming a noted commentator, said, “Pakistan had gone to England for six or seven weeks before vaccines were available.”
“They stayed, they played their cricket, they did the respect they wanted to give to England, to save England’s butt, to save England’s butt.
“Four days in Pakistan? I am quite sure that he would not have done this to India, because India is rich and powerful.”