(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images for ECB)
LONDON: England will join the West Indies in wearing “Black Lives Matter” logos on their shirts during their three-match Test series, the England and Wales Cricket Board announced on Thursday.
The tourists had previously announced they would be wearing the logo, designed by Watford footballer Troy Deeney’s partner Alisha Hosannah, which is also being worn by Premier League players.
The ECB said its decision had been “fully supported” by England players led by Test captain Joe Root and stand-in skipper Ben Stokes.
ECB chief executive Tom Harrison made it clear the move showed support for “progress and societal change” and did not extend to explicit backing for any wider political aims.
“It has become a message of solidarity and a drive for progress and societal change,” he said. “There can be no place for racism in society or our sport, and we must do more to tackle it.”
But he added: “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.”
“Black Lives Matter” became a rallying cry in a series of worldwide anti-racism protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd in the United States in May.
It is understood, however, that the England squad will not take a knee ahead of the first Test, which starts on July 8.
Root, speaking on behalf of the England squad, said: “It is important to show solidarity to the black community and to raise much-needed awareness around the topics of equality and justice.”
Deeney said: “Watching cricket with my grandad shaped my childhood, so it’s great to be able to help England and the West Indies to show their support in such a meaningful way.”