England players kneel before T20 World Cup match against Bangladesh. Special t-shirts were BANNED by the ICC… following Quinton De Kock’s South Africa withdrawal.

  • Eoin Morgan’s side took a knee before Saturday’s victory over West Indies 
  • They also made the antiracism gesture before the Bangladesh clash
  • Preference was to wear T-shirts that were special in what they called the’momentof unity’
  •  England’s request was denied by the ICC because it violated kit regulations 
  • After the national anthems, players of both teams performed the gesture 

England’s players sat down prior to their clash against Bangladesh because the ICC prohibited them from wearing T-shirts that contained special messages of unity. 

After the national anthems, with Bangladesh batting first at Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium, players from both sides dropped down to one knee before the first ball was bowled by Moeen Ali.  

Eoin Morgan’s side chose to kneel in solidarity with their opponents in the first T20 World Cup game against West Indies. 

They had planned to wear T shirts for their second encounter and not make the anti-racism gesture. 

Eoin Morgan led his England players in taking a knee before the Bangladesh clash

Eoin Morgan led his England team in taking a knee just before the Bangladesh clash 

Jos Buttler (left) dropped to his knee alongside the Bangladesh opening batsmen

Jos Buttler (left), sat down on his knees with the Bangladesh opening cricket batsmen

Chris Woakes and Co opted for the gesture after being banned from wearing special T-shirts

Chris Woakes and Co made the gesture after being forbidden from wearing T-shirts.

England was then informed by the ICC that their specially-designed garments were in violation of kit regulations. A rethink was therefore required. 

The shirts would have included slogans condemning seven different types of prejudice, going against rules stating that ‘approval shall not be granted for messages which relate to political, religious or racial activities or causes’. 

Morgan and Co decided to get down on one knee before the Super 12 match began. This was a hot topic in Abu Dhabi. 

South Africa’s Quinton de Kock pulled out of the game against West Indies because he refused to take a knee, a gesture which the Proteas have adopted as policy.

England had to cope with blistering heat in Abu Dhabi for their second World Cup game

England had to deal with the heat in Abu Dhabi during their second World Cup match

The England players again took a knee having done so prior to the game against West Indies

After having taken a knee prior to the match against West Indies, the England players took another.

West Indies made the gesture that the England players wanted to reciprocate

West Indies made the gesture, and England players wanted to do the same 

South Africa wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock made himself unavailable for West Indies match

De Kock was replaced by Heinrich Klaasen - who took the knee - as Proteas wicketkeeper

South Africa star Quinton de Kock (left) made himself unavailable against West Indies

Heinrich Klaasen replaced him, and he did join his team-mates to make the anti-racism gesture.

Issue relating to ‘political, religious or racial’ subjects are contentious for a tournament held in the UAE, where homosexuality is illegal. 

It is also illegal for half of the 16 nations to have participated in either the Super 12 or the first round. 

In the weeks ahead, the debate about how to best tackle these issues while simultaneously balancing the personal views of different players as well as the ruling body will no doubt continue. 

England's request to wear their ‘moment of unity’ T-shirts was turned down by the ICC but they wore similar garments before Test matches in the summer

England’s request to wear their ‘moment of unity’ T-shirts was turned down by the ICC but they wore similar garments before Test matches in the summer

It will be interesting to see how South Africa deals with the fallout of De Kock refusing to take the knee, but England’s players are happy about the fact that the T-shirts were not allowed to be worn. 

‘Our position is we stand against any form of discrimination, which we’re very passionate about,’ vice-captain Jos Buttler explained. 

‘What we’d like to do is a moment of unity, which we did at times during our summer. West Indies like to take a knee, so we wanted to reciprocate that in the first game.’ 

Buttler and his team-mates had a great start to the World Cup. They won their opening match with a thumping win. They will now look to continue that feat against Bangladesh, who defeated Sri Lanka in their first match.