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"The ICC right now are a production company" - Michael Holding lambasts global body, says he won't miss the game

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Michael Holding recently announced retirement after serving as a commentator for three decades
Michael Holding recently announced retirement after serving as a commentator for three decades

West Indies legend and former commentator Michael Holding has hit out at the International Cricket Council (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.

Michael Holding announced his decision to call time on his career as a commentator last month, after 31 years of service at the commentary box.

The former fast bowler chose to hit out at the ICC in an interview after accepting the Cricket Writers’ Club (CWC) Peter Smith Award for outstanding contributions to the presentation of cricket to the public. He said:

“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."

The Jamaican added that he was disappointed with the way cricket is currently managed and won’t miss the game he was associated with for almost half a century. 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.”
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 🙌 https://t.co/MJZXEAIVBD

"What that signal sends to me is the same Western arrogance" - Michael Holding blasted ECB for pulling out of the Pakistan tour

England had pulled out of the tour to Pakistan late last month.
England had pulled out of the tour to Pakistan late last month.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) also bore the brunt of Michael Holding’s criticism for pulling out of the tour to Pakistan. He felt it was the 'western arrogance' on display from the ECB and added that they would not have pulled out of a tour to India.

“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. Four days in Pakistan? I’m absolutely sure they wouldn’t have done that to India because India is rich and powerful.”

Michael Holding termed the ECB’s statement on the cancelation of the tour to Pakistan as 'rubbish'. He recalled how Pakistan had honored England by touring the nation at the peak of COVID-19, only to be betrayed later and said:

“[The statement is] rubbish. I wouldn’t even pay attention to that statement, it doesn’t wash with me... They were going for four days. Pakistan went to England before vaccines were available, for six or seven weeks. They stayed, they played their cricket. They honored what England wanted them to honor, to save England’s butt, to put it mildly."

The England men's and women's teams were scheduled to embark on a limited-overs tour of Pakistan this month. However, the ECB decided to cancel the tour, citing 'increasing concerns about traveling to the region'.

Brian Close Chesting away the short-pitched pace of Michael Holding, in one of the greatest and most famous individual contests in Test Match history, England v West Indies 1976#WhisperingDeath 1/2 https://t.co/4AcCLQJH2U

Michael Holding, who has represented West Indies in 60 Test matches and 102 ODIs, has also championed the Black Lives Matter movement ever since its inception. He has been a vocal critic of the ECB ever since they decided against 'taking a knee' after their series against the West Indies in 2020.

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Edited by Ritwik Kumar
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