IPL: Hardik Pandya takes a knee for 'Black Lives Matter'
Mumbai Indians all-rounder Hardik Pandya took a knee in the Sunday night fixture against Rajasthan Royals, becoming a part of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. Pandya, who racked up a blistering 60* (21), went down on a knee with his right arm raised upon reaching his half-century. He signaled toward the MI dugout, while stand-in captain Kieron Pollard responded with a raised fist.
Following the game, Pandya also posted a picture of his gesture on Twitter and Instagram with the caption, "#BlackLivesMatter". Despite his brilliant effort, Rajasthan Royals won the match, riding on scintillating knocks from Ben Stokes (107*) and Sanju Samson (54*).
The 'Black Lives Matter' gained momentum following the death of George Floyd. Floyd (a 46-year-old black man) died after a white cop Derek Chauvin pinned him to the ground, placing his knee on the former's neck. Following the incident, violent protests flared up in several cities of United States. Ever since, people from across the globe have been pledging support to this movement.
The movement gained popularity in cricket when both England and the West Indies teams, along with the match officials, took a knee, earlier this summer. In June, former West Indian captain Darren Sammy talked about the racial abuse he had faced during his IPL stints (2013 and 2014). In the 2020 CPL as well, the players took a knee before the first three games.
Recently, West Indian Test skipper Jason Holder expressed disappointment, stating that he had not seen any discussion about the movement in the IPL. Notably, the Caribbean all-rounder had joined the Sunrisers Hyderabad camp in place of the injured Mitchell Marsh. Even in the ongoing Women's Big Bash League, the Sydney Thunder decided to show this gesture throughout the tournament.