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AFP
September 16, 2020

‘Australia could have talked more about taking a knee’

Sports

AFP
September 16, 2020

MANCHESTER: Australia coach Justin Langer has admitted his side could have given more thought to taking a knee during their tour of England following criticism from West Indies great Michael Holding.

England and West Indies adopted the gesture at the start of each of their three Tests in July to show their support for the campaign against racial injustice.

The practice was repeated during England’s one-day matches against Ireland but not in subsequent series against Pakistan and Australia.

Holding, an outstanding fast bowler in the 1970s and 1980s, accused England bosses and Australia captain Aaron Finch of making “lame” statements over not taking a knee.

England fast bowler Jofra Archer said Holding had not “done his research”, with the Barbados-born quick insisting the team and officials remained committed to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Langer told a conference call on Tuesday that Holding was worth listening to.

“In terms of taking a knee, to be completely honest, we could have talked more about it perhaps leading up to the first game.”

The former Australia opening batsman added: “What we do talk about within the team, was that we want to have a response that is sustained and powerful, and that it can go not just in one action but a sustained period — not just throughout this series and the (Australian) summer but throughout time.

“I just hope if it looked like there was a lack of respect, it wasn’t the intention of our team. We were very aware of it.”

Langer was speaking ahead of Wednesday’s third and deciding one-day international against England at Old Trafford.

Australia star batsman Steve Smith has yet to feature after missing the first two games after being hit on the head during practice last Thursday.

Team management have repeatedly stated Smith has been rested purely as a precaution despite passing two concussion tests.