Aussie Test cricketers set to take a knee for the first time ever at home as the side continues to wage war against social and political issues under the lead of captain and climate warrior Pat Cummins
- Pat Cummins’ men will take a knee with West Indies players in show of support
- It’s the first time ever the men’s Test side has done so in a home series
- West Indies legend Michael Holding praised Cummins sense of social justice
- It’s just the latest social cause Pat Cummins and Australia have committed to
- The series between Australia and West Indies begins in Perth on Wednesday
The Australian men’s Test side is set to take a knee in support of anti-racism for the first time ever in a home series, which begins in Perth on Wednesday against the West Indies.
It’s just the latest in a series of social, cultural and political causes that the polarising team, led by climate warrior Pat Cummins, has taken up.
Typically, the side has taken a knee when an opponent has done it, in a show of support and respect to their opponents; and given the West Indies have often taken a knee in defiance of racism, the Aussie men will do the same.
It will be the first time an Australian men’s Test side will take a knee during a home series.
West Indian cricketers take a knee and raise a fist as part of the Black Lives Matter movement at the 2021 T20 World Cup in powerful scenes
For the first time in a home Test series, Australian players will also take a knee in a show of respect and support for their West Indian opponents – they have previously taken a knee (like the West Indians) at the 2021 T20 World Cup (pictured are then-captain Aaron Finch (left) and Matthew Wade (right)
‘We’ve consulted with the West Indies team, who confirmed they will be taking a knee,’ a Cricket Australia spokesperson told The Age.
‘As we’ve done in the West Indies and during the recent warm-up games we will support the West Indies team and take a knee alongside them.’
The publication also revealed that the two teams will take part in a Barefoot Circle, a ceremony taken prior to the series to show respect to Indigenous peoples, and their country, in Australia.
West Indian legend and iconic commentator Michael Holding has welcomed Australia’s stance on taking a knee in support of anti-racism after previously labelling their efforts ‘lame’
It’s a development welcomed by West Indian cricket great and iconic commentator, Michael Holding, who has been critical of Australian players for not taking a knee in the past, when the Black Lives Matter movement was at its peak.
Holding called Aaron Finch and his ODI side’s attempts to say they wanted to ‘educate’ instead of take a knee in September 2020 as ‘lame’, but told The Age he was ‘extremely happy’ they had changed their mind for the upcoming series.
With Pat Cummins at the helm, Australian men’s cricket has become far more outspoken of late on social issues; provoking the age-old question: do sport and politics mix?
It was revealed last month that Cummins had ‘ethical objections’ to Cricket Australia’s $40million contract with energy provider Alinta – despite appearing in multiple ads for the company and having associations with similarly climate-damaging companies.
Not long after it was announced the lucrative partnership would only continue for one more year, leaving a $40million funding hole: though CEO Nick Hockley continues to deny Cummins had anything to do with it.
Aussie Test captain Pat Cummins has a led a vocal squad who make cultural and social stands – invoking the age-old question: do sport and politics mix?
Many, including fans, former legends, shock jock Ben Fordham and One Nation’s Mark Latham were scathing of Cummins’ role – but Holding spoke up in support of the Aussie captain.
‘I’m very glad to see people taking a stand: right is right. When you have an opportunity to showcase wrongdoings you must do it,’ he said.
‘Not everyone has a voice that people will listen to, so when you have a voice that makes an impact use that voice. The world is sick and it needs healing.’
West Indian Test cricketers (from left to right) John Campbell, Jason Holder and Jermaine Blackwood take a knee during a 2020 series against England
Australian superstar David Warner takes a knee at the T20 World Cup last year. Warner and his teammates will do the same in the upcoming Test series against the West Indies
The battle for the Frank Worrell Trophy will begin at Optus Stadium in Perth from 1.20pm AEDT on Wednesday.
The second and final match will be a day-night Test at Adelaide Oval from December 8.
Australia won the last series in 2015-16, and have held the Trophy since 1994-95.