England players take the knee before T20 World Cup game against Bangladesh after being BANNED from wearing special t-shirts by the ICC… following Quinton de Kock’s South Africa withdrawal for refusing to kneel
- Eoin Morgan’s side took a knee before Saturday’s victory over West Indies
- And they again made the anti-racism gesture prior to Bangladesh clash
- Preference was to wear special T-shirts in what they called ‘moment of unity’
- But the ICC blocked England’s request as it contravened kit regulations
- After the national anthems, players from both teams performed the gesture
England’s players took a knee prior to their clash with Bangladesh after the ICC forbid them from wearing special T-shirts for a ‘moment of unity’.
After the national anthems, with Bangladesh batting first at Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium, players from both sides dropped down to one knee before the first ball was bowled by Moeen Ali.
Eoin Morgan’s side opted to take the knee in their first game of the T20 World Cup against West Indies in solidarity with their opponents’ position.
But they had planned on wearing T-shirts for their second encounter rather than make the anti-racism gesture.
Eoin Morgan led his England players in taking a knee before the Bangladesh clash
Jos Buttler (left) dropped to his knee alongside the Bangladesh opening batsmen
Chris Woakes and Co opted for the gesture after being banned from wearing special T-shirts
The ICC then told England that their specially designed garments contravened kit regulations and a rethink was required.
The shirts would have included slogans condemning seven different types of prejudice, going against rules stating that ‘approval shall not be granted for messages which relate to political, religious or racial activities or causes’.
Morgan and Co therefore chose to sink to one knee prior to the start of play in their second Super 12 match and how best to deal with the anti-discrimination issue has been a hot topic in Abu Dhabi.
South Africa’s Quinton de Kock pulled out of the game against West Indies because he refused to take a knee, a gesture which the Proteas have adopted as policy.
England had to cope with blistering heat in Abu Dhabi for their second World Cup game
The England players again took a knee having done so prior to the game against West Indies
West Indies made the gesture that the England players wanted to reciprocate
South Africa star Quinton de Kock (left) made himself unavailable against West Indies
He was replaced by Heinrich Klaasen, who did join his team-mates in making the anti-racism gesture.
Issue relating to ‘political, religious or racial’ subjects are contentious for a tournament held in the UAE, where homosexuality is illegal.
It is also a crime in half the 16 nations to have taken part either in the first round or the Super 12 stage.
The debate over how best to tackle these topics while juggling the personal views of different players and the ruling body will no doubt rage on in the weeks ahead.
England’s request to wear their ‘moment of unity’ T-shirts was turned down by the ICC but they wore similar garments before Test matches in the summer
It will be fascinating to see how South Africa deal with the fallout from De Kock’s refusal to take the knee but England’s players are relaxed about the fact that they were blocked from wearing the T-shirts.
‘Our position is we stand against any form of discrimination, which we’re very passionate about,’ vice-captain Jos Buttler explained.
‘What we’d like to do is a moment of unity, which we did at times during our summer. West Indies like to take a knee, so we wanted to reciprocate that in the first game.’
Buttler and his team-mates made a flying start to the World Cup with a thumping victory in that opening game and will look to back it up against Bangladesh, who overcame Sri Lanka in their first match.