England cop staggering ban on anti-racism gesture at T20 World Cup

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England players Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler, pictured here taking a knee at the T20 World Cup.
England players Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler take a knee at the T20 World Cup. Image: Getty

England were reportedly stopped by the ICC from performing an anti-racism gesture before their clash with Bangladesh at the T20 World Cup on Wednesday.

England’s players reportedly wanted to wear specially-designed T-shirts supporting the Black Lives Matter movement before the game, before removing them for their usual kits.

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However the International Cricket Council stepped in, informing the England camp that “approval shall not be granted for messages which relate to political, religious or racial activities or causes”.

The shirts are said to feature slogans condemning a wide range of prejudices and would have been an addition to the usual gesture of taking a knee.

Despite the t-shirt ban, England and Bangladesh players both took a knee in the pre-game ceremony, a gesture that has become commonplace in cricket in recent months.

The gesture is at the centre of controversy in the South African team after former captain Quinton de Kock withdrew from his side's match against West Indies after a directive forcing players to kneel.

In a chaotic three hours before Tuesday's match, South African players were told they must take a knee after individuals took various postures before the previous game against Australia.

Some players knelt and raised their fists, others remained standing with their fists raised, while a few neither knelt or raised their fists.

De Kock had declined to take a knee in the past calling it "my own personal opinion", with Cricket South Africa confirming that was the reason for his absence.

"As a team, we obviously were surprised and taken aback by the news," captain Temba Bavuma said.

"Not having that at my disposal as a captain was obviously something I wasn't looking forward to.

"In saying that, Quinton is an adult. We respect his decision."

Bangladesh's Liton Das and England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler, pictured here taking a knee.
Bangladesh's Liton Das and England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler take a knee. (Photo by INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP via Getty Images)

England remain undefeated after beating Bangladesh

Meanwhile, England have taken a step toward the semi-finals with their second-straight win, an eight-wicket romp against Bangladesh in Abu Dhabi.

Spinner Moeen Ali (2-18) struck in the powerplay and Tymal Mills (3-27) dominated the death overs to restrict Bangladesh to 9-124 at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.

Opener Jason Roy then hit 61 off 38 balls as England, bidding to become the first team to hold the 50-overs and 20-overs World Cups at the same time, chased down the target with 5.5 overs to spare to maintain top spot in their six-team group.

Dawid Malan was not out 28 with Jonny Bairstow unbeaten on eight as England cruised to 2-126.

"The bowlers have started the tournament exceptionally well," England captain Eoin Morgan said.

"And it's nice for Roy and Dawid to get some time at the wicket. The way Jason plays is so imposing.

"When you play like that on a really slow wicket, it's difficult to set fields."

England fielded the same XI which had outplayed defending champions West Indies on Saturday.

"We were disappointed with the batting," skipper Mahmudullah said after Bangladesh slumped to their second-successive defeat.

"It was a good wicket but we didn't start well and didn't have any partnerships in the middle either."

England face Ashes rivals Australia in their next match on Saturday, while Bangladesh takes on West Indies on Friday.

with AAP

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