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Aussie cricket team promote reconciliation

Aaron Finch’s team vowed to educate itself about “injustices over the last 230-odd years” as players prepare to take part in a barefoot circle, seeking to make a statement about racism and reconciliation.

Australia face India in Friday’s ODI series opener at the SCG.

The men’s squad, which copped criticism from West Indies icon Michael Holding and other pundits after failing to take a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, agreed to participate in a barefoot circle prior to the start of play against the Indians.

An invitation has been extended to India, as was the case when Australia and New Zealand both took part in the Indigenous ceremony before the start of a recent women’s series.

Finch, whose reasoning for not taking a knee in England was panned as “lame” by Holding, suggested the leadership group agreed a barefoot circle was “the right way to connect with our Indigenous people”.

“There’s obviously zero tolerance to racism in our sport and our society,” Finch said.

“Well, there should be.

“For our group, the more we can educate ourselves and each other, I think we can go on a journey of learning a lot more about the injustices over the last 230-odd years in Australia.

“Raise some awareness to some issues that might not be as commonly known.”

Finch added that Indigenous people “have faced a lot of adversity for a long time, for generations”.

“This is our way of supporting that cause,” he said.

Indigenous activist Tamika Sadler described cricket in Australia as a “white privileged sport” during a recent episode of Cricket Connecting Country, a series produced by the governing body.

D’Arcy Short made his debut in 2018, becoming just the sixth Indigenous Australian to represent his country at the highest level.

Vice-captain Pat Cummins said last week that his team could “put our hands up and say we haven’t done enough in the past and we want to get better” when it came to racism.

“Racism exists. We want to do our bit to try and help stop that and try and be better,” Cummins said.

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