[File photo] Michael Holding Photograph:( AFP )
England's men's and women's white ball teams were due to tour this month but the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) pulled out of both because of concerns over 'mental and physical well-being'
Former West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding slammed England for abandoning the Pakistan tour after New Zealand cancelled their tour to the South Asian nation due to security reasons in September. He called it "Western arrogance" and said that he is "absolutely sure" they would not have done that to India.
England's men's and women's white ball teams were due to tour this month but the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) pulled out of both because of concerns over "mental and physical well-being".
"The ECB statement doesn't wash with me. No substance," said Holding, who played 60 Tests and 102 one-day internationals in his glittering career.
"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," he added.
"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," he further said.
New Zealand Cricket called off their first tour of Pakistan in 18 years just as the first one-day international was due to start in Rawalpindi. Soon after that, England also cancelled their scheduled short tour.
It was a massive blow to a country, which was shunned by all after a deadly 2009 attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore and Pakistan have been trying to organise bilateral series. Pakistan have only hosted South Africa, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe since the 2009 attacks.
At the time of its withdrawal, the ECB acknowledged the news would not go down well with opponents who helped rescue England's 2020 summer by travelling in restrictive bubble environments at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
"Pakistan went to England before vaccines were available for six or seven weeks," said Holding, a respected television commentator since his retirement from the game in 1987 and author of 'Why We Kneel, How We Rise', a sober account of racial discrimination.
"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."
(With inputs from agencies)