London: England will join West Indies in wearing a “Black Lives Matter” logo on their shirts during the three-match test series, the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said on Thursday.
West Indies had earlier announced they would be wearing the logo designed by Alisha Hosannah, the partner of Troy Deeney, captain of Premier League soccer side Watford.
Deeney was contacted by the ECB and Cricket West Indies and permission was granted for the logo to be displayed on the collar of the shirts, in line with International Cricket Council regulations.
ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said the move to display an anti-racism message supported “progress and societal change” and did not extend to being an endorsement of any political organisation.
“We are aware of certain aspects of the movement that promote their own political views, and their actions are not supported in any way by the ECB and our players,” Harrison said in a statement.
“This moment is about unity. We are proud that our players will stand alongside those from the West Indies and wear a logo that embodies that philosophy.
“It is fitting that they do so in solidarity with athletes from the football world who wore it first.”
At the hearing of the Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) Committee this week, Premier League chief executive Richard Masters defended the players’ decision to wear “Black Lives Matter” on their shirts, describing the cause as a moral one.
England captain Joe Root, who will miss the first test to be at the birth of his child, said the players were hoping to use the international platform to eradicate racial prejudice.
“There has to be equal opportunity and equal rights for all,” he added.
Ben Stokes will lead England in the first test against West Indies, which starts in a bio-secure environment at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton on Wednesday.