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'Barefoot circle' right way to connect with indigenous people: Finch

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Sydney, Nov 26 (IANS) The Australian team will do a ‘barefoot circle’ when they take the field against India in the first ODI of the three-match series at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Friday.

There had been plenty of talk regarding it after the Aussies were criticised for not taking it seriously during the tour of England this year. Former West Indies pace bowler Michael Holding had lashed out at Aaron Finch and Eoin Morgan for not continuing with the knee gesture that began with the West Indies tour of England but was discontinued when Pakistan and Australia toured England. Finch had then said that specific gestures need not be done.

However, the Aussie leadership has decided that they will do a barefoot circle and wear an indigenous-design jersey in the T20I series against India that follows the ODI series.

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“We sat down and discussed it as leadership and as a group. A lot of people had to be put into it. I think it is the right way to connect with the indigenous people. There is obviously zero tolerance to racism in our sport and in our society and it should be anyway,” Finch told the media on Thursday.

“I think this is the way we can connect with our indigenous people. They have faced a lot adversity for a long time, for generations. This is our way of supporting that cause,” he added.

Finch said that these moves, related to Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, are being done to educate not just the people but the entire team about the wrongs done in history.

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“It is about educating — educating ourselves and our group. The more we do that, we can go on a journey of learning a lot more about the supposed injustices over the last 240-odd years, in Australia. I suppose raise some awareness about some issues that might not be commonly as known,” added Finch.

The Barefoot Circle is a statement taken up by Australian cricket more broadly to connect with Aboriginal culture and the land on which matches are played.

–IANS

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