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'No one has forgotten about Black Lives Matter' - Archer responds to Holding
England News

'No one has forgotten about Black Lives Matter' - Archer responds to Holding

Jofra Archer emphasised England have not ceased to treat the global "Black Lives Matter" campaign any less seriously after deciding to abandon the practice of taking a knee before the start of every match.

The symbolic gesture performed by England and West Indies cricketers earlier in each of their three Tests was dropped for the subsequent series against Pakistan and Australia.

The decision to discontinue this ritual representing resistance against racial injustice, was heavily criticised by West Indies pace bowling great Michael Holding.

The former fast bowler, who was a member of the highly successful Caribbean teams of the 1970s and 1980s, accused the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Australia captain Aaron Finch of making "lame" statements to defend ending the practice of kneeling down.

However, Barbados-born Archer differed from Holding's viewpoint and stressed that the ECB was committed in its fight against racial discrimination.

"I'm pretty sure Michael Holding doesn't know anything that is going on behind the scenes," he said in a video conference.

"I don't think he has spoken to [chief executive] Tom Harrison. I think that is a bit harsh for him to say that. I've spoken to Tom and we have stuff running in the background.

"We've not forgotten, no one here has forgotten about Black Lives Matter. I think it is a bit harsh for Mikey to not do some research before criticising."

Archer is no stranger to racially charged taunts that caused controversy last year during a Test match in New Zealand. The host board dealt with the issue swiftly and the culprit was punished for insulting the 25-year-old Sussex quick.

This summer, Archer was subjected to racial abuse on social media and received assistance from the ECB, who agreed tough action was needed to clamp down on degrading remarks.

Archer was the player of the match in England's dramatic 24-run win over Australia in the second ODI on Sunday. He returned impressive figures of 3-34 and will be looking to deliver another impactful performance once the series-decider gets underway at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

"I remember when we first came into the bubble, we said we wanted a clean sweep of the summer," Archer said. "We just need to go two days from now and do it."

Despite the euphoric atmosphere accompanying England's hard-earned victory, Archer admitted life was not comfortable in the bio-secure bubble for an extended period of time.

"I'll tell you, it has been mentally challenging," he said as he has now spent 87 days in the bubble.

Archer also hinted at missing out on this year's Big Bash League for Hobart Hurricanes in order to be with his family since he heads to the UAE for the Indian Premier League after the conclusion of the Australia series.

"I'm not sure how many more bubbles I've got left in me for the rest of the year," he said. "I haven't seen my family really since February and it's September now.

"The IPL [Indian Premier League] is going to be most of October, November we [England] go to South Africa, hopefully.

"That only leaves me with a few weeks in December for the rest of the year. I love my Hobart family, but I think I need to spend some time with my real family as well."