The West Indies have become the latest team to don the logo of the Black Lives Matter campaign, skipper Jason Holder and co, having it affixed to the collar of the outfits set to be worn during the #RaisetheBat Test series, starting July 8.

The West Indies are in England to challenge for the Wisden Trophy, they won last year in the Caribbean.

The logo, designed by Alisha Hosannah, partner of Watford Football Club captain Troy Deeney, features a clenched fist, along with the words Black Lives Matter. The word ‘Black’ has the logo inserted where the ‘a’ should be.

Reports out of England are that the CWI approached Deeney for permission to use the logo as per the International Cricket Council (ICC) regulations.

“This is a pivotal moment in history for sports, for the game of cricket and for the West Indies cricket team. We have come to England to retain the Wisden Trophy but we are very conscious of happenings around the world and the fight for justice and equality. We believe we have a duty to show solidarity and also to help raise awareness," said Holder.

According to Holder, the decision to wear the Black Lives logo was not taken lightly and that the West Indies understand very well, the position they hold in regard to the fight for equality.

As a group of young men, we know of the rich and diverse history of West Indies cricket and we know we are guardians of the great game for generations to come.

“We did not take our decision lightly. We know what it is for people to make judgments because of the colour of our skin, so we know what it feels like, this goes beyond the boundary.

There must be equality and there must be unity. Until we get that as people, we cannot stop. We have to find some way to have equal rights and people must not be viewed differently because of the colour of their skin or ethnic background.”

According to Deeney, he and his partner are delighted to be part of the statement the West Indies chose to make in support of the Black Lives Matter campaign.

“Alisha and I are immensely proud to be asked and take part in a monumental moment in world sport, this amazing decision by the West Indies cricket team to show their support for Black Lives Matter. When I got the call, I didn’t hesitate to respond, because I know as sportspersons in the spotlight, how important our efforts are to bring about change and the role we play in moving towards change in our society," said Deeney.

Deeney said growing up, the West Indies were part of what shaped his childhood.

“Watching cricket with my grandad, and seeing Brian Lara transcend from being a cricketer to a worldwide superstar, shaped my childhood, so it’s great to be able to help West Indies Cricket show their support in such a meaningful way.”

West Indies will play England in three Test matches behind closed doors – the first at the at Ageas Bowl in Southampton and the other two at Emirates Old Trafford in Manchester, where they are presently based.

Due to COVID19 they have been training and live in a “bio-secure” environment as part of the comprehensive medical and operations plans to ensure player and staff safety.

Troy Deeney is expected to return to Watford training after holding positive talks with health officials.

The Hornets captain, though, detailed the significant abuse he had received after initially opting not to train when clubs were permitted to resume non-contact sessions.

Deeney, 31, had concerns over the health of his son – who has breathing difficulties – and statistics that showed BAME people were more at risk from COVID-19. 

He is now poised to join his team-mates when Watford train next week after the approval of contact training, having held discussions with Dr Jonathan Van-Tam, the Government's deputy chief medical officer, and the Premier League.

"I only said that I wasn't going back for the first week," Deeney told CNN. "People took that as I'll never go back.

"Jonathan is doing really well, not only answering questions, he has also been honest enough to say at times: 'I don't have the answer'.

"The first conversation I had with Jonathan was maybe three weeks ago. The last conversation we had was on Friday and he had so much more information, so much more detailed analysis.

"So it just filled me with confidence that he's trying his best to make sure that we have all the information. The risk factor will be down to players.

"He's been doing very, very good research and there is a lot of goodwill on his part to tell me, ultimately, that I'm going to be looked after as best as they can.

"Ultimately, there is going to be some form of risk for all of us going back to work. Lockdown [ending] and the social distancing measures coming down mean people will still always have risk."

Deeney said some of his meetings with the Premier League were "productive", while others were "heated". 

"I needed more questions answered with a bit more authority and, at the start, they couldn't really do that, but it was just because they didn't have the information," he said.

"I think everyone can appreciate everything that the Premier League is trying to do as well. I don't think it's a pure neglect of: 'We're going back to work and get on board or [else],' it's nothing like that. They have very good lines of communication.

"There's some frustrating conversations. When somebody said I'm at the same risk of getting coronavirus by playing football or going to the supermarket, I said: 'I've never had to jump for a header while picking up a cucumber'."

While the issue over his training dilemma appears to be solved, Deeney was unhappy with abuse he received, particularly that which targeted his son.

He added: "I saw some comments in regards to my son, people saying: 'I hope your son gets coronavirus'. 

"That's the hard part for me. If you respond to that, people then go: 'Ah, we've got him' and they keep doing it.

"In a time where it's all about mental health and everyone says: 'Speak up, speak out,' Danny Rose spoke out – and I spoke out and we just get absolutely hammered and battered for it.

"The missus gets direct messages and you'll be walking down the street and people will be like: 'Oh, I'm at work, you go back to work’."

Watford captain Troy Deeney believes the integrity of the Premier League season is "already gone" and said the coronavirus pandemic has spoiled Liverpool's dominance.

Liverpool held a 25-point lead atop the Premier League table when the campaign was suspended in March due to COVID-19.

While the Premier League is bidding to restart its season, Deeney has spoken about his health concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic.

And the 31-year-old forward feels for Liverpool because their dominant season has been spoiled.

"I believe that when it comes to the integrity of this season anyway, it's already gone," Deeney told CNN.

"I feel sorry for Liverpool because no matter how it plays out, they deserve to win the league. They deserve to get the trophy.

"But no matter how it plays out, even if we play all the games, it's still going to be the year spoiled by the pandemic.

"It's not going to be that year that Liverpool won the league being the best team and, you know, it's 30 years they haven't won for."

Liverpool had won 27 of 29 Premier League games this season, with one draw and a loss to Deeney's relegation-threatened Watford, who ended their 'Invincibles' bid.

But Deeney said the integrity of this Premier League campaign had been ruined.

"I do feel sorry for Liverpool and their players and Jordan [Henderson, captain], but in terms of integrity, there's no way you could say that this is a viable competition," he said.

"It's like running a marathon, 20-odd miles, stopping for two months and then sprinting the last bit and going: 'Ah, that was a good time that.'"

Liverpool's 44-match unbeaten run in the Premier League came to an abrupt end with their first loss of the season in a 3-0 reverse at Watford on Saturday, Ismaila Sarr and Troy Deeney combining to down the Reds.

Jurgen Klopp's men went into the clash at Vicarage Road on the back of 18 successive league wins, one short of a new record, but the bright Hornets were thoroughly deserving of the victory to boost their survival hopes.

Watford's promising start looked as though it might go to waste when Gerard Deulofeu – their chief threat – was forced off with a potentially significant knee problem before half-time.

But the home side maintained their level after the interval and the lively Sarr was hugely effective with two goals, and Deeney finished them off 17 minutes from the end as Liverpool's hopes of an 'invincible' season were vanquished.

Liverpool offered little in a muted first-half display, with Watford looking much livelier in attack through Deulofeu.

He troubled Trent Alexander-Arnold twice early on as he put a couple of shots just off target, cutting inside and curling an effort just over the top-right corner inside the box for the second.

But the Spaniard's match ended early in the 37th minute when he had to be carried off on a stretcher, having seemingly suffered a serious knee injury during a tussle with Virgil van Dijk.

Watford were unlucky to not lead just before half-time – Alisson making a mess of a routine collection, but Deeney failed to capitalise.

Liverpool failed to improve after the interval and Watford eventually got a deserved opener, as Abdoulaye Doucoure latched on to a throw-in and lashed the ball into the danger zone for Sarr to prod home.

The winger got a second in even more impressive circumstances soon after, chasing Deeney's brilliant throughball behind Van Dijk and cheekily lifting his finish over the approaching Alisson.

Sarr was crucial again for Deeney's clincher, chasing down Alexander-Arnold's woeful back-pass and teeing up his strike partner who calmly turned in with Alisson in no-man's land.

What does it mean? Watford give the rest hope and boost survival chances

Liverpool's lead at the Premier League summit remains a hugely impressive 22 points even with this defeat, but Watford exposed their weakness – playing behind the full-backs – impressively, potentially giving a little inspiration to the rest of the pack.

Manchester City certainly will not be predicting a collapse from the Reds that allows them a way back in, but if anything can renew hope, it is this, with Watford - now out of the bottom three on goal difference - surely full of confidence in their relegation tussle

Sarr quality

Watford's young winger has enjoyed some impressive performances in big games this season, but this was on another level. Two goals and an assist, you cannot ask for much more than that.

Alexander-Arnold all at sea

The Liverpool and England right-back has rightly received much praise for his creative abilities this season, but questions have been raised about his defensive attributes and concentration at the back, and they will likely appear again after this horror show.

What's next?

Liverpool turn their attentions to the FA Cup next, as they go to Chelsea in the fifth round on Tuesday, before hosting Bournemouth in the Premier League four days later. Watford's fight to avoid relegation resumes at Crystal Palace the same day.

Bruno Fernandes scored his first goal for Manchester United and created two more as the Red Devils extended their unbeaten run to six matches in all competitions with a 3-0 Premier League victory over Watford.

The £62million January signing from Sporting CP put in a performance that made his fee look like a bargain, winning and scoring a first-half penalty to break the deadlock against a battling Watford team before creating superbly taken goals from Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood.

United survived some nervous moments and Watford had an equaliser ruled out for handball before Martial doubled their advantage, but the invention and craft of Fernandes has given Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men an edge they lacked for so much of this season.

Defeat leaves Watford in the relegation zone and without a win in six matches in all competitions, but manager Nigel Pearson will take some comfort from a strong attacking performance that might have delivered a different outcome but for some poor finishing.

Troy Deeney might have put Watford ahead after three minutes when Nemanja Matic and Harry Maguire allowed Victor Lindelof's blocked pass to run through to the Hornets captain, but he hesitated, and Luke Shaw dispossessed him just in time.

Abdoulaye Doucoure hit the side-netting from a tight angle as Watford continued to prise open a faltering United defence and, when the hosts countered, Aaron Wan-Bissaka missed from 12 yards after Ben Foster parried Dan James' angled drive.

The pace of the game slowed before exploding into life five minutes before half-time when Fernandes burst into the Watford box where Ben Foster sent him sprawling, and the Portuguese midfielder's hopping run-up and cool low finish put United ahead from the spot.

Watford had the ball in the net five minutes after the restart when Maguire lashed it into the roof of his own net under pressure from Deeney, but Craig Dawson playing the ball with his arm in the build-up meant the goal was ruled out.

Six minutes later, Fernandes turned provider, threading a pass through to Martial whose drag-back fooled Etienne Capoue before his immaculate chip saw him beat Foster at the second attempt.

United's third was the pick of the goals, Greenwood starting a move that ended with Fernandes rolling the ball to him just inside the box and he cracked an unstoppable shot into the top corner of the net off the frame of the goal.

Solskjaer sent on Odion Ighalo for his home United debut against his former club and he hit the post six minutes from time but by then the game was comfortably won as hopes of a possible Champions League return continued to grow around Old Trafford.

 

What does it mean?

One win in three home league matches hardly feels like great form but United are just three points behind fourth-place Chelsea, while Watford, who are 19th, remain one point adrift of safety and still without a league win at Old Trafford in their history.

Fernandes brings out United's best

The arrival of Fernandes has given the likes of James and Greenwood a creative lynchpin and, after showing his finishing prowess, the 25-year-old brought the best out of Martial and Greenwood.

Deeney made to rue early miss

Sluggish and sloppy in the opening 20 minutes, Deeney eventually grew into the game but only after he had missed Watford's best chance of the game.

What's next?

Watford host champions elect Liverpool at Vicarage Road on Saturday before United's trip to Everton on Sunday. The Red Devils are in Europa League action against Club Brugge at Old Trafford three days earlier.

Watford's resurgence under Nigel Pearson continued as they beat Bournemouth 3-0 to move out of the Premier League's bottom three for the first time this season.

Goals from Abdoulaye Doucoure, Troy Deeney and Roberto Pereyra earned the Hornets a third successive top-flight win, with Pearson's side now unbeaten in five matches.

There was a degree of fortune to their opening goal as young Bournemouth goalkeeper Mark Travers chipped straight to Ismaila Sarr, who crossed for Doucoure to finish three minutes before half-time.

Watford dominated after the break and doubled their advantage in the 66th minute when Deeney blasted home following more good work from Sarr, with substitute Pereyra hooking in a third goal in stoppage time.

Manchester United's erratic form continued with another insipid display against opposition they would be expected to beat, as rock-bottom Watford claimed a 2-0 win at Vicarage Road on Sunday.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was able to call upon the services of Paul Pogba again from the bench for the first time since September, but by the time he was introduced the game was already beyond United, who have made a habit of dropping points against teams in the bottom half.

A complete lack of cohesion plagued the Red Devils in the first half, with Jesse Lingard wasting their only genuine opportunity as their front four made a minimal impact.

Helped by a shambolic error from David de Gea, Watford got the lead in the 50th minute through Ismaila Sarr and soon made it 2-0 thanks to a Troy Deeney penalty, giving Nigel Pearson a first win as Watford boss.

A first half sorely lacking in quality failed to produce many clear-cut opportunities, but Watford thought they opened the scoring in the 18th minute when Abdoulaye Doucoure smashed home, only for referee Lee Mason to somewhat harshly deem Craig Cathcart fouled De Gea.

Lingard was then guilty of a woeful miss just past the half-hour mark, electing to chip Ben Foster when through on goal and his effort landed on the roof of the net.

United found themselves trailing just after the restart, though Watford needed a De Gea howler to score – Sarr's tame volley bouncing up at the Spaniard and he failed to stop it squirming into the top corner.

Another lapse – this time from Aaron Wan-Bissaka – allowed Watford to extend their lead four minutes later, as the right-back clumsily tripped Sarr and Deeney smashed his spot-kick down the middle.

Pogba was introduced for Lingard just past the hour mark and showed touches of class, but he was unable to inspire a turnaround.

What does it mean? The same old problems for United

The inconsistent nature of United's form continues to baffle. Although often effective against the best teams in the division, Solskjaer still has not worked out how to break down many of the Premier League's so-called lesser sides.

An ordinary Watford team that is deservedly bottom of the table should have been straightforward opposition for United, yet at no point did they look even remotely capable of getting a win on Sunday.

A Sarr is born

Perhaps Sarr was more functional than barnstorming, but it was undoubtedly an encouraging display from the young winger. It was his shot that brought about De Gea's error and then he won the penalty from which Deeney scored. You cannot expect much more than that from him.

De Gea becoming a target

De Gea's form has underwhelmed of late and this was almost certainly the worst performance of the lot. He was extremely fortunate to win a free-kick in the first half when Watford thought they had scored, and his error for Sarr's goal was inexcusable.

What's next?

United return to Old Trafford on Boxing Day as they host Newcastle United. Watford go to Sheffield United the same day.

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