Ahead of the first ODI in Sydney, the captains of Indian and Australian cricket team came together to take part in a powerful stance against racism. Virat Kohli and Aaron Finch led their respective teams barefoot onto the Sydney Cricket Ground as part of a ceremony to acknowledge the traditional owners of land in Australia.Also Read - IPL 2022 - Season Review: A League With Stark Lessons, Possible End Of Key Roles For Franchises
“The barefoot circle is a cricket centric way for players and teams to take a moment prior to matches to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land, connect to each other as opponents and pay respect to the country,” Cricket Australia said in a Tweet. Also Read - India's Predicted T20I Squad For South Africa Series: Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah Likely to be Rested; Shikhar Dhawan May Lead
“This is done barefoot as a way to connect to country, but also a moment to reflect that we are all common ground, we are all human beings and we need to stand strong with each other, for each other,” it added. Also Read - IPL 2022, Playoffs & Qualifier: All You Need To Know About Venue, Date & Who Plays Whom
Cricketers across the globe have been showing their support to the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement with several of them taking knee as a symbolic gesture. England and West Indies cricketers also wore jerseys with the BLM logo during a Test series earlier this year.
Australia vice-captain Pat Cummins had earlier admitted that cricket as a sport can and should do more about educating and uniting people against the menace of racism.
“Obviously 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,” Cummins had said.
“Racism exists. We want to do our bit to try and help stop that and try and be better … this is one small thing we’re going to introduce this summer. In addition we’re going to try to do a lot of work on our education, we’re trying to learn as much about our history here in Australia in particular. We’ve come together as a team and think this is the best way we can demonstrate anti-racism as well as celebrating the Indigenous culture here,” he added.
The Australian cricket team will be sporting a special indigenous jersey during the T20I series.