Treat racism as seriously as match-fixing and doping – Jason Holder

VOICING OUT

We should have an anti-racism feature before we start a series: Holder

We should have an anti-racism feature before we start a series: Holder © WICB

West Indies Test captain, Jason Holder, has called for stringent punishment against racism in cricket, asking the powers that be to treat indiscretions like they do with match-fixing and doping. Holder said his team steadfastly stood with the Black Lives Matters movement, hoping to ensure there is no relenting until equality and unity was achieved.

Holder’s compatriots Chris Gayle and Daren Sammy along with Sri Lankan legend Kumar Sangakkara recently voiced out against racism in the wake of George Floyd’s killing in the USA, which prompted the BLM movement. Sammy also alleged casual racism in the SRH camp during his stint in the Indian Premier League.

“I don’t think the penalty for doping or fixing should be any different for racism,” Holder told BBC Sport. “This is a pivotal moment in the history of sports, for the game of cricket and the West Indies Cricket team. We have come to England to retain the Wisden Trophy, but we are very conscious of happenings around the world and the fight for justice and equality.

“In addition to having anti-doping briefings and anti-corruption briefings, maybe we should have an anti-racism feature before we start a series. My message is that more education needs to go around it,” he added.

Holder, upon arrival in England for the #RaiseTheBat Test series, had promised a statement of solidarity with the BLM movement. It has now emerged that West Indies would sport “Black Lives Matter” emblems on their jersey during the three-Test series.

“As a group of young men, we know of the rich and diverse history of West Indies cricket and we know we are guardians of the great game for the generations to come. We did not take our decision lightly. We know what it is for people to make judgments because of the colour of our skin. There must be equality and there must be unity. Until we get that as people, we cannot stop,” Holder said.

The team will also sport a chest sponsor after the ICC ratified a relaxation of rules to allow teams to integrate sponsors on their kit for the next 12 months in a bid to alleviate some of the financial difficulties that have emerged due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The first Test match of the Wisden Trophy, currently held by the West Indies, is set to be held at the Rose Bowl, Southampton, starting July 8, 2020, marking a much-awaited resumption of international cricket since the COVID-19 pandemic brought things to a standstill.

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