'England pulling out of Pakistan tour sends signal of Western arrogance'

Former West Indies fast bowler Michael HoldingAFP file

Former West Indies pacer Michael Holding has said that England pulling out of Pakistan tour completely sends the signal of “Western arrogance”.

After New Zealand decided to abandon their tour of Pakistan right ahead of the first ODI, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had announced that its men's and women's tour of Pakistan would not go ahead as planned.

"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 will just do what I want. Four days in Pakistan was all they would have spent, I am absolutely sure they would not have done that to India. You know why? Because India is rich and powerful," Sky Sports quoted Holding as saying.

The Caribbean legend further said, “They were going for four days. Pakistan went to England [in 2020] before vaccines were available for six, seven weeks, something like that. They stayed, they played their cricket, they were in that bubble. I was in that bubble and it wasn't fantastic but it was better than going out into society, where we know Covid was and without any vaccinations available to anyone," he added.

Further criticising the ECB, Holding said: "They stayed, they played, and honoured what England wanted them to honour, and now you have an opportunity to try and repay them to a small degree."

Earlier, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ramiz Raja had said that England and New Zealand's decision to not play series in Pakistan is a lesson for them and now they will just look after their own interest.

"I am severely disappointed in England's withdrawal but it was expected because this western bloc gets united unfortunately and tries to back each other. So you can take any decision on the basis of security threat and perception. There was a sense of anger because first New Zealand got away without sharing information about the threat they were facing," ESPNcricinfo had quoted Raja as saying.