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South African players to make 'meaningful' anti-racism gesture during Boxing Day Test against Sri Lanka

South African cricketers will make a gesture in support of the BLM movement during the Boxing Day Test.
South African cricketers will make a gesture in support of the BLM movement during the Boxing Day Test.
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Modified 26 Dec 2020, 05:39 IST
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South African cricketers will make an anti-racism gesture in support of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement during the first Test against Sri Lanka.

Coach Mark Boucher said the team has had multiple discussions about the movement. He confirmed that the team will make a 'meaningful' gesture after heeding a statement by Cricket South Africa's interim board.

"We've had a lot of discussions since we've come into the bubble about this, especially after what the board statement was and the guys have come up with a meaningful gesture. That's something the players will share with everyone before the match day," said Boucher.

Last month, South African players refrained from taking a knee - a popular BLM gesture - during the white-ball series against England.

The interim board consequently released a statement of concern regarding the same. The board expressed disappointment over the players' decision, and reiterated its own support for the BLM movement. However, it refrained from forcing the players to make a gesture.

South African cricket continues to be beset with racism-related issues

South Africa has been beset by racial discrimination for most of its history. In the wake of the development of the BLM movement in the US and the world, some cricketers came forward in its support. However, they were chastised promptly and strongly by some white and conservative South Africans.

This led to a month-long verbal war between various stakeholders in the country which involved many players coming out with their experiences of institutionalized and casual racism in South African cricket. It culminated in strong individual and team gestures during the domestic 3TC tournament.

Sportsmen including cricketers from New Zealand, England and West Indies have come out in continued and open support of the BLM movement.

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South African cricketers have had culture camps which encouraged open conversations within the team. The CSA has also taken institutional steps and grievance-listening measures. However, the challenges in the country are far from over.

The 2-Test series between South Africa and Sri Lanka will kick off with the traditional Boxing Day Test at Centurion. The caravan will then move on to Johannesburg for the 2nd Test slated for 3-7th January.

Published 26 Dec 2020, 05:39 IST
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