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Aussie cricket team’s barefoot protest

The Australian men’s cricket team will follow in the footsteps of the women’s team this summer after players came to an agreement to stage a barefoot protest before the opening One Day International of the series against India.The series kicks off with an ODI in Sydney on November 27 — where the Aussie team will…

The Australian men’s cricket team will follow in the footsteps of the women’s team this summer after players came to an agreement to stage a barefoot protest before the opening One Day International of the series against India.

The series kicks off with an ODI in Sydney on November 27 — where the Aussie team will reportedly hold a pre-match barefoot circle in a public stand against racism.

The barefoot circle is designed to acknowledge First Nations people and show the team’s support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

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The Australian’s Peter Lalor first reported the Aussie cricket team’s dressing room came to an agreement to make a public show of support, led by senior figures in the Australian limited overs squad, including Aaron Finch and Pat Cummins.

The report outlines rivals India will also be invited to participate in the public display.

Cricket Australia has previously said in a diversity and inclusion statement that the barefoot circle is designed to allow players and teams “to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land”.

It comes after the Aussie team and coach Justin Langer have come under fire in recent months for the team’s failure to take a public stand on the issue during September’s series against England.

Finch said during the series it was more important for education than protest. West Indies cricket legend Michael Holding then fired back at the statement.

The champion fast bowler said the side had come up with a “lame” excuse to justify why it wouldn’t take a knee as it resumed playing against England in the UK.

Australia coach Langer admitted his side could have given more thought to taking a knee following Holding’s criticism.

England and West Indies adopted the gesture at the start of each of their three Tests in July to show their support for the campaign against racial injustice.

The practice was repeated during England’s one-day matches against Ireland but not in subsequent series against Pakistan and Australia.

Earlier this month Aussie netball great Liz Ellis spoke out about the Aussie team’s need to “educate themselves”.

“It‘s probably a decision for the players to be heavily involved in because they’re the ones who will have to own the decision if they decide to take a knee,” Ellis told Channel 9.

“You either make the decision to take a knee or you don‘t. You don‘t need to rely on an Indigenous person to educate you. Go and educate yourself.

“It‘s a players’ issue. The board can’t tell players to take a knee or not take a knee.”

The team is finally correcting those missed opportunities this summer, having also unveiled the Indigenous designed shirt that will be worn for the Twenty20 series.

The design features the Walkabout Wickets artwork which has been imprinted on the collar of previous national team kits, including at the 2019 Ashes series in England.

The national women’s team wore an Indigenous kit during one of their short-format fixtures against England last year, and their male counterparts have followed suit.

The Aussies are also following the women’s team with the announcement of their barefoot protest after the women’s team staged a barefoot protest before its series with New Zealand.

Now the Aussie men’s team will start its summer against India with a barefoot recognition of Indigenous culture to pay respects to country and the traditional owners.

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