‘No time to be silent’- Sammy demands ICC, cricket boards add to voices against racial injustice

By Sports Desk June 02, 2020

Former West Indies captain Darren Sammy has called on the International Cricket Council (ICC) and other cricket governing bodies to let their voices be heard in standing up against racial injustice.

In recent days, both violent and peaceful protests have swept across the United States as citizens demand justice for the killing of George Floyd.  Floyd, an African American male in his 40s, died after a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, was recorded kneeling on his neck while he was pinned to the floor for several minutes during an arrest.

According to reports, police had been called to the scene after a convenience store clerk alerted the authorities regarding what he suspected to be a counterfeit $20 bill used by Floyd to purchase a pack of cigarettes.  Chauvin has since been arrested and charged with third-degree murder but protests have continued to boil over as the issue has sparked a larger debate regarding the deep-seated issue of racial injustice.

Many athletes around the world, spanning several generations, have not been shy in making their thoughts known on the issue.  The long list includes NBA greats Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Lebron James, and rising tennis star Coco Gauff.  In the Bundesliga, Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho and Achraf Hakimi displayed “Justice for George Floyd messages” scrawled on t-shirts hidden beneath their jerseys after scoring.  Schalke’s 21-year-old American midfielder Weston McKennie and Borussia Monchengladbach’s 22-year-old French forward Marcus Thuram also displayed support for the movement.

Closer home the ICC T20 World Cup-winning captain believes things have been too quiet and called on officials to add their voices to the mix.

“@ICC and all other boards are you guys not seeing what’s happening to people like me? Are you not gonna speak against the social injustice against my kind…” Sammy said in a series of tweets.

“Now is not the time to be silent.  I wanna hear u.”

Joining Sammy in speaking out was West Indies star batsman Chris Gayle who also posted a message on social media that advocated for black lives to be considered as important as any other life.

“Black life matters just as any other life,” Gayle’s statement read.

“Even within teams as a Black man, I get the end of the stick.”

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    Kraigg Brathwaite (65) and Shane Dowrich (61) led the way for the tourists, who benefitted from valuable contributions all the way down the order as they reached 318 all out on Friday.

    That was in stark contrast to England's efforts as they were skittled for 204, although openers Rory Burns and Dom Sibley dug in to negotiate a tricky evening stint and reach stumps at 15-0.

    Having made the most of bowling at England under leaden skies on Thursday, West Indies capitalised on the clouds parting to steadily compile a position of strength.

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    That moment in itself did not prove too costly as Hope was caught at slip by Ben Stokes for 16 after swiping at Dom Bess, the off-spinner who bowled tidily and also dismissed Jermaine Blackwood to claim 2-51.

    But Archer would end the innings wicketless, with stand-in skipper Stokes (4-49) and James Anderson (3-62) sharing seven scalps.

    Brathwaite could not turn his half-century into something more substantial, as he shuffled across to be trapped in front by Stokes, while Shamarh Brooks drove delightfully before edging Anderson behind to Jos Buttler for 39.

    Roston Chase took on the anchor role – in stark contrast to Blackwood's devil-may-care efforts – and was trapped on the crease by Anderson when three shy of a richly deserved fifty.

    Stokes removed opposite number Jason Holder cheaply and bowled Alzarri Joseph for a breezy 18, with Shannon Gabriel falling in similar fashion to Mark Wood.

    Dowrich, who punished the England pacemen whenever they erred in line or length, was the penultimate man to fall, edging Stokes through to Buttler.

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    With lots of talk heading into the Test focused around the ability of the West Indies top order, Brathwaite crafted an enterprising 65 from 125 balls.  Prior to that, the batsman averaged just 16 from his last six Tests, to see his overall average drop to 33.

    Since the start of the series, however, Brathwaite has looked more in line with the player who had a solid performance for the West Indies in 2017, scoring 40 in the first Test, before adding scores of 134 and 95 in a surprise win for the team in the second.

    “I’m very happy to have got a score.  It was tough, I was obviously thinking about getting runs, personally, it was tough.  What I tried to focus on was building that foundation for my team,” Brathwaite said of the innings.

    “I know I could bat three hours in a game that’s what I was really focusing on.  It was a tough period, but I have accepted that you have to go through these periods to be good or great.  I just decided to keep my mind nice and strong and trust my ability,” he added.

    Brathwaite's innings kickstarted the tourists reply to England's 204 all out, with the Caribbean side scoring 318 all-out to rack up a 114-run against England at the Ageas Bowl on Friday.

    The West Indies had contributions all the way down their line-up with Shamarh Brooks, 39, John Campbell, 28, Shane Dowrich, 61, and Roston Chase, 47, all contributing to the total. There was even a nice cameo from Alzarri Joseph, 18.

    England have responded to the West Indies lead with Rory Burns (10) and Dom Sibley (5), fighting off an onslaught of good bowling from Kemar Roach, Gabriel, and Holder.

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