West Indies Skipper Disappointed With Lack Of Focus On BLM In Cricket

Jason Holder and members of the West Indies team take a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement during Day One in the 2nd Test Match of the #RaiseTheBat Series between England and The West Indies at Emirates Old Trafford on July 16, 2020 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
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News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Oct. 23, 2020: West Indies test captain, Jason Holder, says he is disappointed with the lack of continued focus on the Black Lives Matter movement and racial justice in cricket.

Holder made pronouncement recently as he was honored with the Peter Smith Award by the Cricket Writers Club for the Windies’ “trailblazing” tour of England last July. Throughout the series, both teams kneeled before the start of each test match as a mark of support for BLM.

Holder and West Indies received the award from the United Kingdom-based entity for their “outstanding contribution to the presentation of cricket to the public.”

But he said he was disappointed to see the practice started in the Windies series versus England, discontinued for England’s subsequent series against Pakistan and Australia. His comments follow that of former Windies great Michael Holding.

“I was following a bit of what Mikey Holding was saying,” Holder said in reference to the former Windies great’s recent criticism of England for abandoning the on-field support for the BLM movement. “It’s difficult to get people to see the importance of it and that’s where the education has to continue to filter through. I personally was a bit disappointed to see how the Pakistan and Australia tours that went on after ours, that they were not showing their solidarity afterwards. It’s a hard challenge and a long hard road. It’s not an overnight fix but the most important thing is we need to come together and see each other as equal human beings.”

Holding, a legendary former West Indies fast bowler who is now a well-respected international television analyst, has criticized the England and Wales Cricket Board over the decision not to continue the practice of kneeling. He said even though the West Indies tour had finished “that doesn’t mean that you still shouldn’t be respecting the message and exactly what it stands for.”

Holder, a late call-up to represent Sunrisers Hyderabad in the ongoing Indian Premier League, said there had also been little mention of the Black Lives Matter movement in the cash-rich tournament in the United Arab Emirates.

“I haven’t had one conversation [in the IPL] around it,” said the world’s top-ranked Test all-rounder. “Sometimes it seems it has gone unnoticed, which is a sad thing. I guess it’s for us to re-highlight the importance of it.”