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Former West Indies fast bowler and recently retired commentator Michael Holding has hit hard on the International Cricket Council (ICC) for their management of cricket, as well as the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for the Pakistan tour cancellation.
Michael Holding announced retirement from his commentator stint a month ago from Sky Sports, ending his 31 years of service. He recently received the “Peter Smith Award” (PCA) for “outstanding contributions to the presentation of cricket to the public.”
Michael Holding disappointed with ICC
During the interview with the Cricket Writers’ Club (CWC), while receiving the award, he called the board a “production company” as they are interested only in the sport’s income.
“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 also added that he will not miss the game because of the way it is being handled by the governing body. He gave a heartily statement on how cricket was not the cricket he knew and he started playing.
Michael Holding slams England for Pakistan tour pull out
Holding was also critical of England Cricket’s decision of pulling out from the Pakistan tour. He labeled it as “Western Arrogance.”
England pulled out of the Pakistan tour just a few days after New Zealand unilaterally called off the whole tour. New Zealand Cricket stated that they received “security threats” just on the eve of the first ODI.
However, ECB gave a mix of reasons for their pullout. They cited to covid cases before they went to security issues as well. It was also later revealed that the England players were not even consulted for taking the decision.
Michael Holding was not convinced of England’s reasons
“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 hide behind a statement. It just reminds me of the rubbish they did with Black Lives Matter.”
The fast bowler also pointed out how Pakistan has helped England in their difficult times. Pakistan toured England in 2020 when vaccines for covid-19 were not available.
“Pakistan went to England before vaccines were available. They stayed, they played their cricket, they honored what England had wanted them to honor, to save England’s butt, to put it mildly. You have an opportunity now to try to repay what Pakistan did,” Holding said
He dug even further, stating that England wouldn’t have dared to call off an India tour had they been in the same situation.
“Four days in Pakistan? I’m absolutely sure they would not have done that to India because India is rich and powerful.”
Also read: Pak vs Eng: Why exactly was the Tour Called Off?