London [UK], July 2 (ANI): The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Thursday announced that the men's team will be wearing a 'Black Lives Matter' logo on their playing shirts when they face West Indies in the three-match Test series.
The decision was fully supported by the England players led by Test captain Joe Root and stand-in captain for the first Test Ben Stokes. In a mark of solidarity, the team will join the West Indies and carry an identical logo on their playing shirts.
The Black Lives Matter emblem has been designed by Alisha Hosannah, the partner of Troy Deeney, professional footballer and captain of Premier League side Watford Football Club. He was contacted by ECB and CWI. The permission was granted for the logo to be displayed on the collar according to ICC regulations.
"The England and Wales Cricket Board fully supports the message that Black Lives Matter. It has become a message of solidarity and a drive for progress and societal change. There can be no place for racism in society or our sport, and we must do more to tackle it," Tom Harrison, ECB Chief Executive Officer, said in an official statement.
"Our support of that message is not an endorsement, tacit or otherwise, of any political organisation, nor the backing of any group that calls for violence or condones illegal activity. We are aware of certain aspects of the movement that promote their own political views, and their actions are not supported in any way by the ECB and our players," he added.
Earlier, West Indies had announced that they would be wearing a 'Black Lives Matter' logo on their jerseys and now England will too show solidarity to the black community.
"It is important to show solidarity to the black community and to raise much-needed awareness around the topics of equality and justice. The England players and management are unified in this approach and will use the platform of international cricket to fully support the objective of eradicating racial prejudice wherever it exists," England Test skipper Joe Root said.
"There has to be an equal opportunity and equal rights for all. We hope by making this stance we can play our part in standing shoulder-to-shoulder as a team and we hope that by continuing to raise awareness we can move towards a society in which the colour of your skin and your background has no bearing on your opportunities," he added.
The England team is currently preparing for the first Test in a bio-secure environment at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton. The first match of the series is scheduled to begin on July 8.
All players and management live, train, and play on-venue and they are part of comprehensive medical and operational protocol to ensure all players and staff can play safely due to the impact of COVID-19.
The 'Black Lives Matter' movement gained momentum due to the death of an African-American man named George Floyd, following a police officer, later identified as Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee on Floyd's neck as suggested by the viral videos.
Ever since Floyd's demise, many sportspersons have come out to talk about their experience with racism. Windies opening batsman Chris Gayle also said that he had faced racism, and added that it is a myth that the menace of racism exists just in football.
The Premier League resumed its suspended season earlier this week and all teams have been sending out a strong message to show solidarity with the 'Black Lives Matter' movement.
All teams have been taking a knee to show their support, while jerseys of all teams have 'Black Lives Matter' written on them. (ANI)