Mumbai Indians might have lost the match against Rajasthan Royals in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) but Hardik Pandya won hearts as he became the first player in the showpiece event to take a knee to show his support to the 'Black Lives Matter' movement here at Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Sunday.
Hardik slammed an unbeaten 60 off just 21 balls to take Mumbai Indians past the 190-run mark. His knock was studded with seven sixes and two fours.
The all-rounder targeted Ankit Rajpoot and Kartik Tyagi's overs and smashed 54 off 13 balls from them. Hardik smashed his half-century in the 19th over and celebrated it by going down on a knee with his right arm raised to show solidarity against racism and support the 'Black Lives Matter' movement.
Hardik posted a picture of his gesture on his Instagram and Twitter handle after the game with the caption, "BlackLivesMatter".
The 'Black Lives Matter' movement had gained momentum after the death of an African-American man named George Floyd in May this year, following a police officer, later identified as Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee on Floyd's neck as suggested by the viral videos.
Ever since Floyd's demise, many sportspersons have come out to talk about their experience with racism.
Also, Sunrisers Hyderabad and West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder had expressed his disappointment over cricketers having no discussion over BLM in the IPL.
Meanwhile, Mumbai Indians had to face a crushing defeat after Ben Stokes slammed a century to guide Rajasthan Royals to a comprehensive eight-wicket win.
With this win, Rajasthan Royals has now moved to sixth place in the points table with 10 points while Mumbai Indians are still in the top spot with 14 points.
Mumbai Indians will next lock horns with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Wednesday, October 25.
( With inputs from ANI )
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