Lloyd Burnard, Sport 24, October 26, 2021
On a day of increasing drama, Cricket South Africa said it would await feedback from Proteas management before considering the “next steps” to be taken regarding Quinton de Kock.
The 28-year-old wicketkeeper/batsman declared himself unavailable for Tuesday’s T20 World Cup clash against the West Indies in Dubai, with skipper Temba Bavuma confirming at the toss that the decision was a result of “personal reasons”.
Less than an hour earlier, Cricket South Africa (CSA) released a statement confirming that the organisation’s board had decided unanimously that all Proteas players should take a knee in support of the fight against racism ahead of every match at the World Cup.
The Proteas have never presented a fully united front in this regard, with several players, including De Kock, preferring to stand when others take the knee.
Ahead of the first ball on Tuesday, every member of the Proteas playing squad and management took the knee collectively for the very first time.
In a second statement released on Tuesday, CSA said it had noted De Kock’s decision.
“Cricket South Africa (CSA) has noted the personal decision by South African wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock not to “take the knee,” the statement read.
“All players had been required, in line with a directive of the CSA board on Monday evening, to “take the knee” in a united and consistent stance against racism. This is also the global gesture against racism that has been adopted by sportspeople across sporting codes because they recognise the power of sport to bring people together.
“After considering all relevant issues, including the freedom of choice of players, the board had made it clear it was imperative for the team to be seen taking a stand against racism, especially given SA’s history.
“The board’s view was that while diversity can and should find expression in many facets of daily lives, this did not apply when it came to taking a stand against racism.
“The board will await a further report from team management before deciding on the next steps. All players are expected to follow this directive for the remaining games of the World Cup.”
CSA then thanked all other members of the Proteas squad – management and players – for taking a knee together in Dubai on Tuesday.
The first Cricket SA statement, meanwhile, was clear in its instruction.
“After considering all relevant issues, including the position of the players, the Board felt that it was imperative for the team to be seen taking a united and consistent stand against racism, especially given SA’s history,” it read.
“Several other teams at the World Cup have adopted a consistent stance against the issue, and the Board felt it is time for all SA players to do the same.”