India vs Australia: Australia Cricketers to Make Barefoot Anti Racism Gesture

The Australian men's cricket team will form a "barefoot circle" before the upcoming series against India to demonstrate opposition to racism and celebrate Aboriginal culture, vice-captain Pat Cummins said Monday.

  • AFP
  • Updated: November 16, 2020, 2:35 PM IST
India vs Australia: Australia Cricketers to Make Barefoot Anti Racism Gesture

The Australian men's cricket team will form a "barefoot circle" before the upcoming series against India to demonstrate opposition to racism and celebrate Aboriginal culture, vice-captain Pat Cummins said Monday.

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Cummins said the decision came after discussions within the team, which was criticised by West Indies great Michael Holding for not taking a knee during a tour of England in September.

The practice of gathering barefoot on the pitch before a series was introduced by the Australian women's team this year at the urging of all-rounder Ashleigh Gardner, who has Aboriginal heritage.

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Cummins said the men's team would introduce it for the India tour, which gets under way on November 27, and make it a regular pre-match ritual at the start of a series.

"We think it's really important to do our bit and we've decided to do the barefoot circle," he told reporters in a conference call.

"Not only as a sport, but we as people are absolutely against racism.

"I think we could probably put our hands up and say we haven't done enough in the past and we want to get better, so this is one small thing we're going to introduce this summer."

The act of placing a knee on the ground was made famous by former American NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who first did so in 2016 to protest police brutality against Black people and other minorities.

Cummins said Australia's cricketers instead chose the barefoot circle because of its nod to Aboriginal culture.

"In Australia, we think the most marginalised group is the First Nations people, the indigenous people," he said.

"We think the barefoot circle is a great way to celebrate them. Some people might want to take the knee and show it (support) in different ways, we're absolutely all for that."

Australia coach Justin Langer was stung by Holding's criticism and said at the time that his team wanted to send a "sustained and powerful" message against racism.



Team Rankings

RankTeamPointsRating
1 Australia 3028 116
2 New Zealand 2406 115
3 India 3085 114
4 England 4326 106
5 Sri Lanka 2454 91
FULL Ranking
RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 5405 123
2 India 6102 117
3 New Zealand 3716 116
4 Australia 4344 111
5 South Africa 3345 108
FULL Ranking
RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 6877 275
2 Australia 6047 275
3 India 9319 266
4 Pakistan 6824 262
5 South Africa 5047 252
FULL Ranking