MANCHESTER: West Indies captain Jason Holder wants racism to be treated as seriously as doping and match-fixing in cricket, the 28-year-old has said.

Then Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed was slapped with a four-match ban last year for a racist remark aimed at South Africa all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo.

Earlier this month, former West Indies captains Darren Sammy and Chris Gayle said they have experienced racist abuse and threw their weight behind the Black Lives Matters campaign.

“I don’t think the penalty for doping or corruption should be any different for racism,” Holder told BBC Sport. “If we’ve got issues within our sport, we must deal with them equally.”

Under the anti-racism code of the governing International Cricket Council (ICC), a third breach of the code by a player could lead to a life ban.

The sanction for a first offence by a player can be up to a ban for four Tests or eight limited-overs matches.

Holder said teams should be briefed about race issues before the start of any series.

“In addition to having anti-doping briefings and anti-corruption briefings, maybe we should have an anti-racism feature before we start a series,” the all-rounder said. “My message is more education needs to go around it. I’ve not experienced any racial abuse first hand but have heard or seen a few things around it. It’s something you just can’t stand for.”

England will consider a joint anti-racism protest with West Indies during the three-Test series between the sides next month.

Meanwhile, West Indies head coach Phil Simmons has entered self-isolation after attending a funeral but fast bowler Alzarri Joseph said it would not hamper the team’s preparation for the series against England.

Simmons has been self-isolating in his Old Trafford hotel room since attending the funeral on Friday and has to clear two Covid-19 tests before he can join the squad on Thursday.

“That doesn’t really disrupt our preparations,” Joseph said. “We have our jobs to do — we have our preparation to keep going with. We have a very big coaching staff here that are very supportive of each other, so that’s not really a problem for anyone.”

Assistant coaches Roddy Estwick and Rayon Griffith will oversee the team’s second warm-up match, which begins on Monday, before the July 8 series opener in Southampton.

Published in Dawn, June 29th, 2020

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