Holding terms ECB’s pull-out of Pakistan tour as ‘Western Arrogance’

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ISLAMABAD, Oct 06 : Former West Indies cricketer and renowned commentator Michael Holding believe that the England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) showed “Western arrogance” by pulling out of their tour of Pakistan and said the latter would not have meted out similar treatment to India.

England’s men’s and women’s teams were due to play white-ball games in Pakistan but withdrew last month.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) blamed “increasing concerns” about traveling in the region and “pressures” of bubble environments.

“The ECB statement doesn’t wash with me,” Holding said. “No substance.”

Speaking after receiving the Cricket Writers’ Club Peter Smith Award as quoted by bbc.com, Holding said, “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.

“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.”

Three days before the ECB announced its decision New Zealand pulled out of a tour of Pakistan claiming security concerns.

Pakistan’s men traveled to England for three Tests and three T20s in the summer of 2020 – all in a bio-secure environment without fans – within the first six months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Pakistan went to England before vaccines were available for six or seven weeks,” said Holding, who played 60 Tests for West Indies before becoming a celebrated commentator.

“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.”

Holding, who will retire from commentary this year, was rewarded by the Cricket Writers’ Club for “outstanding contribution to the presentation of cricket to the public”. He has passionately spoken about racism in the past 18 months.

Yorkshire batter Harry Brook won the Young Cricketer of the Year Award and England batter Sophia Dunkley the women’s cricketer award.

All-rounder Alice Capsey won the emerging player award after her role in The Hundred for Oval Invincibles while Nottinghamshire bowler Luke Fletcher was named County Championship Player of the Year and Alex Jervis the Disability Cricketer of the Year.