Southampton (UK), July 09: England and West Indies took a knee to show solidarity against and racism and support the "Black Lives Matter Movement" before the first Test of the three-match series here at the Ageas Bowl on Wednesday.
All the people involved in the match including the players, umpires, and ground staff took a knee as a sign of support. A minute of silence was also observed by both the team before the start of play to pay respect to the victims of the coronavirus pandemic and West Indies legend Everton Weekes, who passed away at the age of 95.
"Both sides observed a minute's silence before play to remember Everton Weekes, who died last week, as well as all those who have lost their lives to COVID-19. The players and umpires also took a knee as a sign of support to the Black Lives Matter movement," the ICC stated in a release.
"Children from different backgrounds, races, religions, you want them to be able to stand together. If that's a start from the England cricket team today to show that then we're proud to have done it, " England assistant coach Graham Thorpe said.
Prior to the series, players had already announced that they will be supporting the movement. it gained momentum when an African-American, George Floyd was brutally killed by a police officer who pressed his knee for several minutes.
Many sportspersons have come forward and spoke about racial discrimination including several players from West Indies.
Meanwhile, just 17.4 overs were possible on the first day in Southampton, with an early wicket scoring just 35 runs as rain played a spoilsport.