HomeCricketEngland vs West Indies Test day 1– An exhibition...

England vs West Indies Test day 1– An exhibition highlighting power of sport

- Advertisement -

Only 106 balls were bowled on the first day of the Southampton Test between England and West Indies.

This was the first match after the forced break of four months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

- Advertisement -

Rain played spoilsport but there was celebration from fans as their beloved game had returned.

It was played in the ‘new normal’. The team huddle was longer, with the two-feet social distancing norm.

There was intense screening and testing as cricket was the first game to be played in a biological bubble.

The action was typical Test cricket, attritional, dour and gritty.

However, there was action beyond the boundary which became the highlight of the day.

The broader context was not lost to the players on July 8. The #BlackLivesMatter movement was in the forefront of every West Indies and England player.

What followed was an exhibition that showed the power of sport when used in the right way. Both England and West Indies players knelt during the songs.

The Windies players had worn one black glove, highlighting the Black Fist salute in the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City by Tommie Smith and John Carlos. The #BlackLivesMatter flag was displayed outside the dressing room.

Unprecedented in modern times

For many, this ensuing spectacle was nothing short of breathtaking. Cricket, a sport that has been insular from global events barring Apartheid, joined other sports in joining the #BlackLivesMatter campaign.

The conversation that former West Indies pacer and former England captain Nasser Hussain had was eye-opening.

Holding’s ‘dehumanising of the black race by society’ qualifies as one of the most eloquent speeches made by a modern-day sportsman. Hussain’s ‘looking away for far too long’ sentence was a mirror to society’s apathy in dealing with race issues.

England vs West Indies
(Credits: Twitter)

That all this happened in England, the country with the colonial heritage baggage and that there was no censorship of any kind, showed how the country has come of age.

In the last two decades, England cricket, particularly the men’s team, has been a true rainbow nation when it comes to representation from other countries.

Be it New Zealand, the Caribbean nations, Australia, the sub-continent, many cricketers from those backgrounds have made their mark in English cricket.

It is a different story that such a representation is not there in the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and other apex cricket bodies, as highlighted by former England woman cricketer Ebony Rainsford-Brent.

Message must stick to ethos

Whatever was spoken and demonstrated on the first day of Test cricket in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic has shown that using sports as a medium to highlight major issues can have impact.

Black Lives Matter
(Credits: Twitter)

The onus is now on other nations to follow suit. But, one wonders how a country like India will react? In one instance, one journalist tried to give it an Indian context but was trolled royally. For India, her issues are far more complicated.

In India, any movement must have the Indian ethos and it must be rooted to the country’s ground reality. It simply just cannot copy the #BlackLivesMovement and expect results.

Holding’s stress on ‘education’ must be applied thoroughly in India, which is beset with colour, caste and other issues.

Cricket was back in grand style. The message was put forth brilliantly. July 8 was the day when sports was used as the right medium to highlight greater issues.

It was a day when the power of sport was realised. It was a day which reaffirmed that sports is a beautiful thing.

Follow us on facebook for more sports news & updates

- Advertisement -

15 Highly Educated Cricketers Of All Time

Cricket is a game of passion and dedication. A sport in which one involves themselves in camps and practice since early childhood. Due to...

Do we often under-appreciate Andy Flower? What’s his legacy?

There's a hint of sadness in noting that Zimbabwe has never been a dominant power in world cricket. But nothing could be sadder than...

Why are more and more MotoGP riders using the Noson nasal dilator?

Introduction MotoGP riders or athletes are physically fit and healthy individuals and their muscles are continuously functioning and used during the performance. As a fan...

How Come UFC Fighters Have Cauliflower Ears But Boxers Don’t?

The UFC has come a long way since its early days, wherein the fights seemed like modern-day gladiators due to its brutality and inconsistent...

5 spinners who can be India’s potential finger-spinners

The Indian cricket team has always been proud of its ability to produce world-class batsmen and similarly potent spinners. Though in recent times, the...

IPL 2018: The beautiful Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur

Being seated in the Sawai Mansingh stadium brings a different world, a world of difference away from the palpable excitement of watching truly India’s...

Top 5 Left Wingers In The World, Based On 2019-20 Season

Owing to the fact that football has evolved a lot since its inception and the tactics have changed a lot, the role of wingers...

The astonishing decline of Mario Balotelli

There was a time when Mario Balotelli was on top of the world.  The Italian talisman had scored two goals in the Euro 2012 semi-finals,...

What can be expected from the 2018 Azerbaijan Grand Prix?

Heat in the air and heat inside the car- that's been the story of the Azerbaijan Grand prix. As F1 parks itself at Baku...

How Suresh Raina Batted India Into The Finals of 2011 World Cup

Its been 9 years, since India won the Cricket World Cup defeating Sri Lanka on 2 April, 2011. The images and visuals of...

IPL 2018: The best from the West Indies

When one of nature's treacherous attacks on mankind- earthquakes- strike, their impact is measured on Richter's scale. When West Indians strike in a tournament...

Ajax XI if they didn’t sell their star players

Based in Amsterdam, AFC Ajax, who incidentally draw their name from the legendary Greek hero of the same name, are the most successful club...

Age Fraud in Indian Cricket: Are players really to be blamed?

There have been times while watching a cricket match when we tend to hear commentators comment on cricketers’ age. We as fans have many...

Big change for India Women’s cricket as BCCI looks to finalise bowling coach soon

We are not even at the halfway stage of the 2018 cricketing season. It clearly seems there's no stopping India's women's cricket team. The...

5 famous players to play for both Leeds United and Liverpool

Leeds United are back in the Premier League after 16 years and will play Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday in their very first match...

- Advertisement -

- Advertisement -