The cancellation of the New Zealand and England tour to Pakistan has not been taken well by the pundits and fans around the world. On the basis of fake threats the cancellation of the tour does not make any sense whereas despite showing a true gesture of sportsmanship and friendship towards England last year during COVID Pandemic, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) decided to follow the path of Black Caps.
The might of the powerful board might have played a huge role in such a case, but without proof, nothing can be stated – let this school of thought remain in the conspiracy theory sector, that might become true one day.
The cancellation of the tour in Pakistan has brought the credibility of the International Cricket Council (ICC) and other prominent boards under scrutiny.
One of the most honest voices in world cricket Michael Holding expressed straightforwardly about the matter while talking with the reporters.
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.
The ECB blamed “increasing concerns” about travelling in the region and the “pressures” of bubble environments.
“The ECB statement doesn’t wash with me,” Holding said.
Speaking after receiving the Cricket Writers’ Club Peter Smith Award, Holding added, “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.”
A special mention to the retiring Michael Holding, who picks up the Peter Smith Award for outstanding contribution to the presentation of cricket to the public 🙌 pic.twitter.com/MJZXEAIVBD
— PCA (@PCA) October 5, 2021
“I will treat you how I feel like treating you, it doesn’t matter what you think, I’ll just do what I want.”
Pakistan’s men travelled 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.
“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 has hit out at the ICC for their management of the sport. Holding feels the global cricketing body has been reduced to a ‘production company’ interested only in the income generated from the game.
“The ICC right now are a production company. They manage their events, make a lot of money from their events, but they do not manage the game. What they are trying to do is manage the money that the game can bring in, not the game – and that is very disappointing,” he said.
“I am very disappointed in the people who are running [the game] and the people managing it, and I won’t miss it when I go. I’ll miss the friendships that I’ve made, I’ll miss the great people I work with but I won’t miss the game because this game is not the game that I started playing and the game that I knew. It’s different.”