Mumbai Indians (MI) allrounder Hardik Pandya took a knee in 45th match of IPL 2020 against Rajasthan Royals (RR) as part of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.
Pandya, who scored a scintillating 21-ball 60, went down on a knee with his right arm raised after reaching his half-century off the penultimate ball of the innings. He signalled towards the Mumbai dugout to which stand-in captain Kieron Pollard responded with a raised right fist.
Pandya posted a picture of his gesture on his Twitter and Instagram accounts after the match with the caption, “BlackLivesMatter”.
— hardik pandya (@hardikpandya7) October 25, 2020
Cricket joined hands with the BLM for the first time when both England and the West Indies teams, along with the match officials, took a knee earlier this summer. Many players started sharing their views about racism in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death in the USA in March earlier this year.
In the meantime, Hardik’s wife Natasa Stankovic too was delighted with her husband’s gesture and expressed happiness by sharing stories on her official Instagram account.
Pandya’s effort went in vain
MI were looking like they would finish with a score of 170 or less when they were 121 for four at the end of 16 overs. But, Pandya produced a masterclass of big-hitting to provide the late impetus, guiding MI to 195/5 in their stipulated overs.
However, Pandya’s effort went in vain after the blitzkrieg from Ben Stokes and Sanju Samson, who effortlessly pulled off a difficult chase and dented MI’s charge in the tournament. Stokes hit 107 not out from just 60 balls, hitting three sixes and 16 boundaries while getting great company from Samson who hit a 31-ball 54 not out as they dismantled the mighty Mumbai bowling unit with ease.