Few days after SunRisers Hyderabad allrounder Jason Holder expressed his disappointment over none of the IPL teams taking a knee in solidarity with the “Black Lives Matter (BLM)” movement, Hardik Pandya, on Sunday, became the first player in the tournament to come up with the gesture.
The Mumbai Indians star took the knee during the game against Rajasthan Royals. Hardik Pandya played a stunning knock, slamming an unbeaten 60 off just 21 balls as he scored his first fifty of the season. His knock helped Mumbai Indians post a massive total of 195 for 5 in the allotted 20 overs.
Hardik Pandya started the proceedings with bat slowly as he managed to take just eight singles of the first 9 balls he faced. But what followed thereafter was total carnage as he blew away the Royals. He changed his gears right at the end of the innings when Ankit Rajpoot came to bowl the 18th over.
The Mumbai Indians star slammed the pacer for four sixes in the over to race away to 33 from 14 balls in a blink of an eye. The 19th over bowled by Jofra Archer yielded just three runs before Hardik Pandya hit Kartik Tyagi for two sixes and three fours in the final over.
In the same over, he completed his fifty and celebrated it by taking the knee. Mumbai Indians’ stand-in skipper Kieron Pollard was delighted with Hardik Pandya’s gesture and expressed his happiness by raising his arm.
Taking a knee as a gesture of support to BLM started in the West Indies’ Test series in England this year. Teams in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) also took the knee.
Jason Holder disappointed over teams not taking the knee:
Earlier this week, Holder had expressed his disappointment over the IPL teams not doing their bit in the BLM movement. He made the statement while receiving the prestigious Peter Smith Award on behalf of the West Indies cricket team in a virtual ceremony organised by the Cricket Writers’ Club.
“To be honest, I haven’t had one conversation up here around it (BLM). Sometimes it seems it has gone unnoticed, which is a sad thing,” Holder said in his address posted on Cricket West Indies website.
“Cricket West Indies has done an excellent job in continuing awareness of it. The women had a series in England where they wore the Black Lives Matter logo and continued to push the movement as well,” he added.