Former West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding said on Tuesday that England’s decision to cancel its short tours to Pakistan amounted to “Western arrogance.”

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.

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“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.”

It would have been the first tour of Pakistan by an England women’s team and the first by the men’s team since 2005. Ahead of England’s announcement, New Zealand had also pulled out of its own series in Pakistan, citing a security threat.

The Pakistan Cricket Board remains confident in its security arrangements and believes the country is safe to host international cricket despite the Kiwis’ hasty exit.

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.”

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