Saturday, September 25News That Matters

English cricket trying to agree show of support for the fight against racism

English cricket is trying to agree on a ‘game-wide approach’ to show solidarity with the fight against racism in time for the new season.

The ECB and the Professional Cricketers’ Association have been in talks about a suitable gesture, with one source admitting that taking a knee has not been ruled out – despite the decision by the England team halfway through last summer’s international programme to dispense with the act.

That was criticised by prominent voices in cricket’s debate about racism, including Michael Holding, who called the change of heart ‘lame’, and former West Indies captain Jason Holder.

English cricket wants a 'game-wide approach' to show solidarity in the fight against racism

English cricket wants a 'game-wide approach' to show solidarity in the fight against racism

English cricket wants a ‘game-wide approach’ to show solidarity in the fight against racism

Sportsmail understands that taking a knee does not have unanimous support among the 18 first-class counties, with other options including an anti-racism shirt logo.

There is also reluctance at board level to dictate to county cricketers precisely how they should show their respect for the movement.

But both the ECB and the PCA understand the need for what Surrey coach Alec Stewart called a ‘uniform approach’ on Thursday. 

It is hoped an agreement will be in place by the start of the first round of county championship matches next Thursday.

England decided to dispense with the act of taking the knee halfway through last summer

England decided to dispense with the act of taking the knee halfway through last summer

England decided to dispense with the act of taking the knee halfway through last summer

England were criticised by Sky pundit Michael Holding, who called the change of heart 'lame'

England were criticised by Sky pundit Michael Holding, who called the change of heart 'lame'

England were criticised by Sky pundit Michael Holding, who called the change of heart ‘lame’