Former West Indies pacer Michael Holding criticised both England and Australian teams for not taking a knee in support of the global 'Black Lives Matter' campaign during the ongoing limited-overs series in the UK.
Ahead of the start of the trip, visiting skipper Aaron Finch said his team have conveyed to their English counterpart about their decision on the matter and that they believe in educating people with regards to the need to eradicate racism rather than making any gesture.
Holding, however, didn't have any of it, saying what started in the early part of the summer with West Indies' arrival should've been continued by Pakistan, Australia along with their English brethren.
"Now that the West Indies team has gone home, that doesn't mean that you still shouldn't be respecting the message and what it stands for," Holding told Sky Sports.
"Yes, (racism) is more acute in the United States than in most other places but people around the entire world took on the mantle of spreading the word and getting this message out that it is time for equality and time for equal justice.
"It was no longer just a black versus white thing... so for Pakistan and England not to then take that signal... neither team did it and the ECB came out with a pretty lame statement, as far as I am concerned," he added.
In their response, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said they are determined to have "long-term and sustainable change". The board cited the launch of "initiatives that focus on eliminating discrimination from all areas of cricket" in defence against Holding's comments.
Holding then specifically talked about Finch's statement that education is more important than protest, reiterating to the Aussie captain that the gesture of taking a knee only makes intentions clear that Finch and company are actually in support of those suffering from the deep-rooted social malaise of racism right now.
"(Finch) is saying that he's glad he is part of a sport where no one is barred from playing, irrespective of your race, your gender, your ethnicity, your religion," Holding said. "Well, I don't know any sport where anyone is barred from playing because of anything at all. So that's a pretty lame statement."
"I'm not here to try to force people to do what they do not want to do. If you think you do not need to sympathise with and recognise the movement, just say that. Don't come up with lame excuses." he concluded.
(Inputs from Reuters)