T20 World Cup: Indian Team Take The Knee, Pakistan Team Also Pay Tribute
India have been put into bat first in the 2021 T20 World Cup match by Pakistan.
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The Indian cricket team showed their support for the Black Lives Matter movement by taking the knee before the start of the 2021 T20 World Cup match against Pakistan in Dubai on Sunday night.
The Pakistan team members too paid tribute by holding their right hand to their heart.
While sportspersons and cricketers across the world had been taking the knee to show support to the movement against racism since the death of African-American George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police personnel in May last year, the Indian team had not made the gesture before today.
Hardik Pandya is the only Indian cricketer who had taken the knee, during the IPL last season.
Cricket joined hands with the Black Lives Matter movement for the first time when both England and the West Indies teams, along with the match officials, took a knee last summer during their three-match Test series.
Earlier, Pakistan captain Babar Azam won the toss and elected to bowl first against India in a high-octane Group 2 match in Super 12 of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup.
After winning the toss, Azam said that Haider Ali was left out from the 12-man shortlist for the playing eleven. "We'll look to take early wickets and put pressure. Dew is also a factor. We have had good practice sessions and are confident about our preparations. Pakistan's bowlers are known to trouble other teams but I am confident about our batting too."
India skipper Virat Kohli said Rahul Chahar, Ishan Kishan, Ravichandran Ashwin and Shardul Thakur are the four non-playing members of the squad. "We are pretty happy with setting the target. We would have bowled first too, but the toss is not in your control. We are pretty balanced with our squad and you need to be prepared for it. We need to stay as professional as possible. We need to stay focussed on the processes. Everyone watches it closely all over the world. We need to ensure we don't get too emotional. The pitch looks very different. Evenly rolled and there is no grass at all which was the case during the IPL. We expect the pitch to stay good all through and set a good total."
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