By CricketCountry Staff
Abu Dhabi: Sep 1, 2012
Australian cricketers on Friday wore black arm bands in the second One-Day Internationals (ODIs) against Pakistan to express grief over death of their soldiers in Afghanistan.
Five Australian soldiers were killed in Afghanistan on Friday.
Matt Cenin the Cricket Australia media manager was quoted by Daily Mail News as saying, “I just wanted to let you know that the Australian team will wear black armbands in respect of the passing of the five Australian soldiers in Afghanistan.
“We will also hold a minute silence on the boundary rope before the start of play.”
Cenin stated that this was the first occasion of cricketers deciding to show their respect to soldier’s death.
“I don’t think this is something we’ve done in the past. Historically, black arm-bands have only been worn when a former Australian player has died or if someone close to one of the players or support staff has passed away”, he said.
The Australian Embassy in UAE clarified that it did not ask the cricketers to wear a black armband.
”The Embassy would not ask the Australian Cricket team to wear a black armband to mourn the 5 Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan”, Kamal Did, the Senior Researcher & Public Diplomacy Officer, Australian Embassy, Abu Dhabi said.
He added, “We in Australia, are all shocked and saddened to learn about this terrible news of the death of our soldiers, during the performance of their noble duty in Afghanistan. However the decision of the Cricket team wearing a black armband or doing a two minute silence, as a gesture of mourning the death, is up to the team management and the match organizers.”