Indian team takes the knee before T20 match, people say speak up on issues at home too

Pakistan beat India by ten wickets, ending the former’s nearly three-decade long domination in the world stage. Before the match, the Indian players took the knee to support the Black Lives Matter movement.
Indian players taking the knee before the match
Indian players taking the knee before the match
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The Virat Kohli-led Indian team on Sunday, October 24, extended their support to the 'Black Lives Matter' movement by taking the knee before their T20 World Cup match against arch-rivals Pakistan. Before the opening duo of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul walked out to bat, the Indian players were seen taking the knee outside the team dugout. Players of the Pakistan team, captained by Babar Azam, too paid a tribute by holding their right hand to their heart. Sportspersons, including cricketers across the world, have been taking the knee to show support to the movement against racism since the death of African-American George Floyd at the hands of police personnel in Minneapolis in May last year. The Indian team was making the gesture for the first time. England and the West Indies teams, along with the match officials, took a knee last summer during their three-match Test series, the first from the sport.

However, many on social media have criticised the Indian cricket team for remaining silent on the many issues back home in India. 

They also questioned the silence of the Indian players over the abuses that bowler Mohammed Shami has been facing on his Instagram posts after India lost to Pakistan by 10 wickets, and asked the cricket team to stand behind their colleague and condemn the trolling.

Pakistan brought to an end India's near-three-decade domination in the world stage in the most convincing fashion, embarrassing their arch-rivals by 10 wickets in the Super 12 stage of the T20 World Cup on Sunday. Intent on breaking their run of losses, Pakistan restricted India to 151 for seven after electing to field in the T20 showpiece's blockbuster game. Pakistan then made light work of the target of 152, completing the win with 13 balls to spare. Mohammed Shami was later accused of “playing for Pakistan” by trolls on his Instagram account. 

Many also reminded the Indian team of the allegations made by Former West Indies captain Darren Sammy, who had shared that he faced racism during the Indian Premier League (IPL) from his fellow team members in SunRisers Hyderabad.

“I just learnt what that 'kalu' meant when I played for Sunrisers in the IPL. They call me and Perera by that name. I thought it meant strong Stallion. My previous post tells me something different and I'm angry," Sammy had written in an Instagram post in June 2020, asking the ICC to take action. His Instagram post had come following vociferous support to the Black Lives Matter movement from across the world after the killing of African-American George Floyd in the US.

Meanwhile, Captain Virat Kohli said the move to take the knee was communicated to them by the management before the match.

With PTI inputs

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