Ahead of the one-day international series-opener against India in Sydney on November 27, the Australian cricket team will stand in a circle with barefoot in support of the global anti-racism movement. To recognise the country’s indigenous people, fast bowler Pat Cummins said on Monday.
Barefoot Gesture in Australia vs India match
“In Australia, we think the most, I guess, the marginalized group is the first nations people and the indigenous peoples,” Pat Cummins, who is the vice-captain of Australia’s Test and ODI teams, told reporters in a video call.
“And we think the barefoot circle’s a great way to celebrate them. Some people might want to take the knee, some people might want to show it in different ways and absolutely we’re all for that.
“But we’ve kind of come together as a team and think this is the best way we can demonstrate anti-racism as well as celebrating the indigenous culture here.”
The Australian national side in the recent past have been accused by many, including the West Indies great Michael Holding, of not vocally supporting the marginalised groups. They also famously did not ‘take the knee’ while touring England in September and were blasted by many fans and former cricketers for it.
History of Barefoot gesture in cricket
However, the ‘barefoot circle’ gesture is not new in cricket and in September the national women’s team did it ahead of the limited-overs series against New Zealand in Brisbane.
Last month, five indigenous players and eight-team captains in the professional Women’s Big Bash League made the gesture to “connect to country and acknowledge the traditional owners of the land,” governing body Cricket Australia said.
Vice-captain Pat Cummins also admitted that perhaps in past Australia’s players have not done enough to end racism and that they would like to rectify that aspect.
“You could probably put our hands up and say we haven’t done enough in the past and we want to get better, so this is one small thing we’re going to introduce this summer,” he said.