England, Windies players kneel as first Test starts

England and West Indies players took a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement before the start of play in the first Test at Southampton as international cricket returned after a four-month absence on Wednesday, report agencies.

Moments before the first ball was bowled at an empty Rose Bowl, West Indies’ fielding players knelt in the outfield while their England counterparts did the same around the field.

A Black Lives Matter logo also was on the collar of the test shirts worn by players from both teams for the match played in a strict 

isolated environment and following repeated testing of players and staff members.

The West Indies squad has said the movement, which has grown since the killing of George Floyd in the United States in May, has been a source of motivation on this tour.

The kneeling gesture has been made before English Premier League matches since the resumption of soccer in England last month.

There was a minute’s silence in honour of those who died in the coronavirus pandemic and also West Indies great Everton Weekes, who died last week.

Play started after a three-hour delay because of light rain and a wet outfield, and only lasted for three overs before the teams had to go back inside because of ano

ther shower.

Rain and bad light restricted the first Test between England and West Indies to 17.4 overs and the hosts closed a frustrating day on 1-35.