Quinton de Kock withdrew from South Africa’s Twenty20 World Cup match against the West Indies on Tuesday “for personal reasons,” citing his refusal to take the knee before the game.
Temba Bavuma, South Africa’s captain, stated that the wicketkeeper-batter had withdrawn from their crucial Super 12 game in Dubai.
The decision drew criticism because De Kock, 28, had previously refused to participate in the anti-racism gesture that has become a standard feature of most sporting events.
“Cricket South Africa (CSA) has taken note of South African wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock’s personal decision not to take the knee ahead of Tuesday’s game against the West Indies,” said a CSA statement.
“Before deciding on the next steps, the Board will await a further report from team management.” For the remainder of the World Cup, all players are expected to follow this directive (to take the knee).”
“Concerns were raised that the different postures taken by team members in support of the BLM (Black Lives Matter) initiative created an unintended perception of disparity or lack of support for the initiative,” the CSA previously stated.
“After considering all relevant issues, including the players’ positions, the Board determined that it was critical for the team to be seen as taking a united and consistent stand against racism, particularly given SA’s history.”
De Kock refused to take a knee during South Africa’s recent Test series in the West Indies.
“What’s my reason?” I’m going to keep it to myself. “It’s my personal opinion,” de Kock explained at the time. Everyone must make a decision. Nobody is forced to do anything in life. That is how I see things.” The South Africans who were scheduled to play on Tuesday took a knee before the game began.
“A commitment to overcoming racism is the glue that should unite, bind, and strengthen us,” said Lawson Naidoo, chairperson of the CSA board.
“Race should not be used to exaggerate our flaws.” Diversity can and should be expressed in many aspects of our daily lives, but not when it comes to standing up to racism.”
“Cricket is the second most-watched sport in the world,” the statement continued, “and the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, which is being held in the UAE and Oman, is the ideal platform for the Proteas to highlight the national resolve to heal the divisions of the past.”
De Kock is a star for his country and a regular starter in all three formats of the game.
He has over 10,000 international runs to his name and was briefly captain of the Test team before stepping down earlier this year.
Only six of the 11 players in South Africa’s starting lineup took a knee when they faced the West Indies in St Lucia in June.
Others, including Dean Elgar, raised their right fists. De Kock walked around with his hands behind his back.
However, Lungi Ngidi, a black fast bowler who played in that game, insisted the team remained united.
“It’s not fair for me to speak for other people; everyone has the right to make their own decisions in life.” “I’ve been very clear about my position,” he said.
“There is no division in the team at all.” We play for South Africa, and that is all we want to do as players.”
South Africa assistant coach Enoch Nkwe resigned in August after apparent disagreements with under-pressure head coach Mark Boucher. Nkwe’s resignation came amid widespread criticism of Boucher in the aftermath of revelations made during hearings into racism in South African cricket.
When black former players claimed they were not made to feel welcome in the national team environment while Boucher was a prominent member of the team, the criticism grew.
Former spin bowler Paul Adams claimed he was racially abused during Boucher’s fines meetings.
Boucher later apologised for “any offensive conduct, real or perceived” revealed during the investigation.