West Indies, England women’s teams to take a knee in support of BLM

Players of the West Indies and England women’s cricket teams will take a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement in all five games of an upcoming T20 International series.

The series starts in the United Kingdom on Monday.

West Indies captain Stafanie Taylor said on Saturday that the teams would perform the gesture and praised her England counterpart Heather Knight for offering to join them in recognising the movement.

“They’re very much in support of it,” Taylor said of the England side.

“It’s very much what we want to do, and they’re going to support whatever we decide, and, yeah, we are going to be honouring the Black Lives Matter movement,” she was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

“We will be wearing the Black Lives Matter movement logo on our jersey but, yeah, we’ll be taking a knee for all the games.”

Fast-bowling great Michael Holding has recently criticised the England and Australian men’s teams for not taking a knee in support of the movement during their limited-overs series.

Players, officials and support staff on both sides had performed the gesture of kneeling ahead of England’s all the three Tests against West Indies and the ODIs against Ireland. But they had not done so before the matches versus Pakistan and Australia.

This had not gone down well with Holding who had given a powerful testimony about his experience of racism in sport.

Taylor said the support extended by the England women’s team meant a lot to them.

“A lot has been happening around the world and you pretty much want to be on the same page. It was really nice of her (Knight) to send a message to say, ‘Hey Staf, you know, we’re very much in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, and we want to support it as best as we can, so let me know what it is that you want to do.’

“That brings a smile to all of our faces.”

Holding has been a vocal advocate of the movement that gained momentum with the killing of African American George Floyd in Minneapolis after being pinned to the ground by a white police officer for allegedly using a counterfeit bill.

A wave of protests followed and sportspersons from across the world lent their voices to the movement.

Monday’s series opener will be the first women’s international since the T20 World Cup final between India and Australia in March.