Sun, 29 Nov 2020

Sydney Thunder to take the knee throughout WBBL

ESPNCricInfo
25 Oct 2020, 18:43 GMT+10

4:17 AM ET

Sydney Thunder have confirmed they will take the knee throughout the WBBL following discussions among the entire squad.

All teams have committed to perform the Indigenous Barefoot Circle ceremony ahead of matches during the tournament, but the decision over whether to take the knee in support of Black Lives Matter was left to individual clubs.

On the opening day of the tournament the Adelaide Strikers and Hobart Hurricanes, who have West Indians Stafanie Taylor and Hayley Matthews in their respective squads, took the knee and the Thunder would have done the same had their match against the Sydney Sixers not been washed out.

"It was a team decision," Thunder captain Rachael Haynes said. "Obviously there has been a little bit of talk leading up to it, in regards to what the competition could possibly do from a playing point of view

"And it's a unique competition in that it's not just Australian players who play in it. We have players coming from all over the world with different experiences and obviously an opportunity for them to use their platform."

"When we realised and had a chat as a team that this was something people felt passionate about, we certainly wanted to have a united front. And to be honest, it was pretty unanimous in our group that it was a way we could show support not only in Australia but around the world."

Ahead of the WBBL England captain Heather Knight, who is one of the Thunder's overseas players, had pushed for the tournament to include taking the knee after her team supported Black Lives Matter during the recent series against West Indies.

"Playing against the West Indies, we wanted to make a gesture and to keep the conversations happening," Knight told the Sydney Morning Herald. "Being treated differently perhaps hits a bit of a nerve as women cricketers, we've had to fight a bit to move towards equality - it's a similar strength that runs through the BLM movement."

Jason Holder, the West Indies captain, was recently critical that teams had stopped taking the knee in England after the series between the two men's teams had concluded. It did not happen during the following matches involving Ireland, Pakistan and Australia.

Michael Holding termed the reasoning behind not continuing as "lame" and Australia men's head coach Justin Langer admitted there should have been more discussion about it ahead of the limited-overs tour to England.

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