With athletes increasingly making their voices heard on issues that transcend their sport, Isabelle Westbury asks why cricketers continue to stay within the boundary rope.
About halfway through 2020’s bizarre summer of sport, athlete activism was contagious. A flurry of fixtures were postponed in support of the Black Lives Matter movement as it swept through the US and beyond. Professional footballers in the UK routinely ‘took the knee’. And then there was cricket.
At first, there was no question that England’s men, alongside the West Indies, would take the knee before each match of their Test series. But as the summer progressed, with visits from Pakistan and Australia, neither England, nor their opponents, did so. The ECB instead issued a vague commitment to the overall “inclusion and diversity space”. An attempt to please all, to avoid conflict, to detach politics from sport.
The full version of this article can be found in the magazine, Wisden Cricket Monthly, January 2021 (Issue 39)