New Zealand cricketers will consult with the West Indies team before deciding whether the players are on their knees against racism ahead of their opening Twenty20 series in Auckland on Friday, the country’s first international cricket since the coronavirus pandemic.
Coach Gary Stead said The Black Caps wanted to take a collaborative approach on what action to take before kick-off at Eden Park in the first of three Twenty20 internationals.
“What happens in terms of kneeling or the like will be discussed with the West Indies,” Stead said ahead of the series.
“We meet with them to make sure we understand how they feel about it and understand their point of view.”
The move was popularized by American NFL midfielder Colin Kaepernick in 2016 to protest police brutality against blacks and ethnic minorities.
West Indies Test Captain Jason Holder expressed his disappointment Last month England decided to stop on their knees to draw against Pakistan and Australia this year despite making such moves during previous games against his team and Ireland.
Stead said messages would be displayed around New Zealand soil during the West Indies series as part of the New Zealand Human Rights Commission’s “Give Nothing to Racism” campaign.
The West Indies Tour, which features three T20s and two Tests, will be the first international cricket to be played in New Zealand since late February.
The Caribbean side is undergoing a two-week quarantine after arriving in New Zealand, drawing a rebuke from health authorities when several players violated social distancing rules at their hotel.
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson and speed spearhead Trent Boult will miss the Twenty20 series to concentrate on the Test match, with Team Southee wearing the captain’s armband.
Stead has included South African-born Devon Conway in his Twenty20 squad, while West Indies welcomes back veteran hitter Dwayne Bravo, who missed an England tour.
New Zealand is sixth in the Twenty20 rankings and the West Indies ninth, with the Black Caps ranking the second best Test team in the world and West Indies in eighth.
New Zealand have won six of the 12 Twenty20 matches completed between teams, with the tourists winning three and three of the games ending in draws.
The hosts have enjoyed similar dominance on the Tes arena over the past decade, winning against West Indies six times, by three defeats and a draw.
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