Cricket legend Michael Holding says he is ‘very disappointed’ Australia, Pakistan and England have either stopped or decided against taking a knee in support of Black Lives Matter.
The England and West Indies squads both took a knee in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement throughout their Test series earlier in the summer.
England also made the gesture during their one-day series against Ireland but neither England or Pakistan did so during the Test series that followed.
Australia had discussed taking a knee before their recent T20 international series against England but ultimately decided against it, with captain Aaron Finch saying that ‘the education around it is more important than the protest’.
But West Indies hero Holding has expressed his ‘disappointment’ that England have stopped taking a knee and that Pakistan and Australia opted against doing so.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Holding said: ‘Before we get to the cricket, I just want to touch on something else that happened recently that I need to talk about.
‘As you know, I have been quite vociferous about the Black Lives Matter movement and I’m a little bit disappointed that since the England v Ireland series we haven’t seen any of the teams take a knee.
‘I’m a little bit disappointed about that. It is there to bring attention to racism and police brutality against people of colour.
‘This is not just black people or people of colour taking a knee to bring attention to it. As we’ve seen all sorts of people, all races, all creeds, all ages took a knee and demonstrated because things need to change and change for the better.’
Holding, widely considered one of the best fast bowlers in history, added: ‘So it was great to see the England team take a knee with the West Indies team.
‘It is a matter of supporting what we see happening in other parts of the world and bringing constant realisation and attention to what is going on. England decided they don’t want to continue taking a knee.
‘I don’t know why Pakistan didn’t. I’m not here to try and force anyone to do what they don’t want to do.
‘Then we see Australia arrive [in England]… and their statement was pretty weak. If you don’t want to support it or take a knee, I’m not here to force anyone to do it.
‘But that’s a pretty lame excuse not to do it. I’m very disappointed that neither team [England or Australia] are taking a knee during this one-day series, but then again, I can’t force anyone.’
In response to Holding’s comments, the England and Wales Cricket Board said in a statement: ‘As an organisation, we hugely respect the views of Sky Sports commentator and former West Indies international, Michael Holding.
‘Many of cricket’s teams, both domestic and international, took the knee in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Movement for their opening games, with the Men’s Test Team continuing throughout the entire series with the West Indies.
‘Our response to the Black Lives Matter debate, has been to view the issue alongside the whole inclusion and diversity space, to ensure that long-term and sustainable change happens for all communities who are not treated equally. We remain committed to this philosophy.’
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