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Australian team to take part in barefoot circle before every series as anti-racism gesture

Australia vice-captain Pat Cummins admits his side hasn't done enough to combat racism, revealing they now plan to take part in a barefoot circle before the start of every series.

Pat Cummins and his teammates were criticised earlier this year by West Indies legend Michael Holding. Source: Photosport

Cummins and teammates were criticised earlier this year by West Indies legend Michael Holding for their "lame" reason for not taking a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

The squad have since spoken at length about the issue and agreed a barefoot circle, which seeks to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land, is the best way to make a statement about racism and a commitment to reconciliation.

Australia and New Zealand's women's sides both participated in the Indigenous ceremony before their season-opening series in Brisbane, while barefoot circles also formed part of recent NAIDOC week celebrations in the Sheffield Shield and WBBL.

"Obviously not only as a sport but we as people are absolutely against racism. I think we could probably put our hands up and say we haven't done enough in the past and we want to get better," Cummins told reporters on Monday.

"Racism exists. We want to do our bit to try and help stop that and try and be better ... this is one small thing we're going to introduce this summer.

"In addition we're going to try to do a lot of work on our education, we're trying to learn as much about our history here in Australia in particular.

"We've come together as a team and think this is the best way we can demonstrate anti-racism as well as celebrating the Indigenous culture here."

Australia opted against taking a knee during their limited-overs series in England, with captain Aaron Finch indicating at the time that "education around this is more important than a protest".

Holding was scathing of that logic, prompting Australia coach Justin Langer to admit his team should have talked more about the issue before their first game on that tour.

Cummins suggested teammates will be supported if they elect to take a knee on November 27, when Australia's ODI series against India starts at the SCG, but the entire squad agreed that a barefoot circle would be the best way to make a united statement.

"In Australia we think the most marginalised group is the First Nations people, Indigenous people. We think the barefoot circle is a great way to celebrate them," the paceman said.

Meanwhile, Cummins and team management are yet to decide whether the spearhead will be rested from some part of the limited-overs series.

"I actually feel in a pretty good place," he said.