England and West Indies players take a knee to show support for Black Lives Matter

All players and staff took a knee before the match began. Credit: PA

England and the West Indies marked the long-awaited return of international cricket by taking a knee in a unified a show of support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Rain ensured a delayed start to proceedings to the first Test match anywhere in the world since March 2.

Once the players got out to the middle, with England having won the toss and elected to bat, there was first a two minutes silence for former West Indies cricketer Everton Weekes and all those who have died during the coronavirus pandemic.

Following the silence, all players, staff and officials took a knee to show their support for Black Lives Matter.

The visiting West Indies side also flew a flag with the movement's logo on the balcony outside where their changing room is situated.

The West Indies players wore a single black glove on their right hands as the held them aloft with fists clenched, in reference to the 1968 Olympics Black Power salute.

A Black Lives Matter banner was placed on the West Indies balcony. Credit: PA

Prior to the match, stand-in captain Ben Stokes said: “There is going to be a gesture shown from us as a team in support of Black Lives Matter towards the equality in society throughout cricket and throughout sport.

“We aren’t in any way, shape or form showing support towards any political matters on the movement.

"We are all about the equality through society and sport.

“Not only has this been a period for us getting ready for a Test match, it has also been great for us to have some educational chats as a team around this which has been really beneficial for a lot of our members.

"Mark Saxby, our masseur, has been at the forefront of that and he’s done an absolutely brilliant job.”

The actual play was repeatedly delayed by rain with players on and off the pitch due to the conditions, although Dom Sibley was dismissed early on for a duck after leaving a delivery that nipped back to hit the stumps.

England made it to tea with the score at 35-1.