Players of both Australian and Indian cricket teams on Friday took part in a ‘Barefoot Circle’ to pay tribute to the indigenous tribe of Australia ahead of the first One Day International (ODI) in Sydney. The barefoot circle ceremony was held before the start of the opening One-day International between the two teams at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), a way of demonstrating the anti-racism movement and acknowledge the culture of indigenous people of the host country.
In Australia, they have taken a unique step in supporting the anti-racism movement. A month before the start of the India series, Cricket Australia announced the barefoot circle movement, stood barefoot around an Aboriginal mural. This statement was created broadly to connect with Aboriginal culture and the land on which matches are played. The ‘barefoot circle’ is one of the symbolic statements made by Australia as they look to grapple with the injustice committed on the Aboriginals in early times. In addition, cricketers from both the teams wore black armbands in the memory of former Australia players Dean Jones and Philip Hughes. While Jones died in Mumbai after suffering a heart attack in September, Hughes passed away on this day at this very ground six years ago after being hit on the head by a Sean Abbott bouncer.
The Australian women’s national team had also formed a barefoot circle with New Zealand players in Brisbane ahead of the limited-overs series in September. Last week, the Sheffield Shield teams had gathered in a barefoot circle before their matches to mark the start of NAIDOC week, while the Women’s Big Bash League players have taken a knee to support the BLM movement.