Australian coach Justin Langer has admitted that his side may have given too much thought to getting on their knees during the England tour following criticism from West Indies great Michael Holding.
Langer’s approval comes as the West Indies’ best Darren Sammy spilled fuel by suggesting the England Cricket Board make token gestures in support of the Black Lives Matter movement during England’s tour of the West Indies.
England and the West Indies gestured in every three Tests in July to show their support for the campaign against racial injustice.
This practice was repeated in England’s ODIs against Ireland, but not in the subsequent series against Pakistan and Australia.
Holding, one of the greatest fast bowlers of the 1970s and 1980s, accused England bosses and Australia captain Aaron Pinch of making “lame” statements about not getting on his knees.
England cracker Joffre Archer Holding said he had “not done his research”, the Barbados-born team quickly persuaded the team and officials were adamant on the Black Lives Matter movement.
On Tuesday night (AEST) Langer admitted that his team would have made it backwards.
“As far as knee-taking is concerned, to be completely honest, we could have talked a lot about leading to the first game,” Langer said.
“What we’re talking about within the team is that we want to get a lasting and powerful response, and that this can go on not only in an active, but also sustainable manner – not only throughout this series and (Australian) summer but throughout the season.
“If it seems like a lack of respect, I believe it’s not the purpose of our team. We knew it well.”
Langer’s comments following the clear message from Captain Aaron Pinch why the Aussie team chose not to get on their knees.
“Education around it is more important than resistance,” Pinch said.
“I talked to Ein and we’re not going to make specific gestures like what happened in the past.
“For us, we are proud to play a game that is celebrated all over the world and anyone can play it.
“It doesn’t matter what race, what religion, what nationality you belong to. Cricket is a sport for everyone and I am very proud of it. “
No opposition during the three-match T20 series – England won 2-1 – According to Holding, the Aussies’ excuses did not stand up.
“Now that the West Indies team is home, it means you still don’t respect the message and it doesn’t mean what it means,” Holding said.
“It does not matter what is important. Education is very important. But you can not say that education is the most important thing. Do nothing else. Awareness must continue.
“How long is that education? This thing has been going on for centuries. Are you going to educate everyone and change the world in a week or two? You need to continue to be more vigilant.
“He (Pinch) says he enjoys being a part of a game where no one is barred from playing regardless of your race, your gender, your race, your religion.
“Well, they stop anyone from playing any game because no one knows.
“So this is a pretty lame statement. What it means is, in fact, that everything would have been right if the apartheid regime in South Africa had allowed apartheid and had racist laws.”
His comments were echoed by Sami earlier this month, when he posted a message on Instagram claiming that the West Indies were being used so that the ECP could fulfill its television broadcasting deals – in August before the Black Lives Matter movement was put back in the shadows for the UK series with Pakistan.
“They have been saying for a long time that we don’t need them if we can’t help them,” Sami posted at the time.
“Just 2 months ago they needed a black team to save 280 million. That’s when black life became important. ”
Commenting on Sky Sports in the UK, Holding became very emotional while reflecting on his own racist experiences during live television segments during the West Indies series. He broke down in tears as the audience was stunned by some of the most captivating TV cricket ever seen.
Langer spoke ahead of Wednesday’s third and one-day international against England at Old Trafford.
Australian star batsman Steve Smith is yet to feature as he missed the first two games that hit him in the head in practice last Thursday.
Team management has repeatedly said that Smith has been rested only as a precaution despite passing two concussion tests.
Langer Smith said “in the right direction” in front of the judge.
“Fingers crossed. We know what a great player he is, ”said the coach.
– With AFP