De Kock withdraws from T20 World Cup clash as South Africa told to take the knee

After Cricket South Africa issued a directive requiring their players to take the knee at the T20 World Cup, star man Quinton de Kock made himself unavailable for their game against the West Indies

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Quinton de Kock made himself unavailable for selection for South Africa ‘s T20 World Cup clash with the West Indies on Tuesday due to “personal reasons”.

De Kock’s decision came as Cricket South Africa issued a directive “requiring” all players to take the knee ahead of their remaining matches at the tournament.

And CSA have confirmed that De Kock refused to take the knee, releasing a statement which read: “Cricket South Africa has noted the personal decision by South African wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock not to “take the knee” ahead of Tuesday’s game against the West Indies.

“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.

South Africa captain Temba Bavuma takes the knee as Quinton de Kock opts to stand ahead of their T20 World Cup warm-up game against Pakistan


Gareth Copley-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

“This is also the global gesture against racism that has been adopted by sportspeople across sporting codes because they recognise the power sport has 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.”

Ahead of the first game against Australia, some members of the South Africa side took the knee, while others opted to stand and raise a fist.

De Kock did neither and did also not take the knee or raise a fist during South Africa’s tour of the West Indies.

When asked to explain his stance during that series, he said: “My reason? I’ll keep it to myself. It’s my own, personal opinion. It’s everyone’s decision; no-one’s forced to do anything, not in life. That’s the way I see things.”

Reacting to the news on commentary, former West Indies captain Darren Sammy and former Zimbabwe bowler Pommie Mbangwa spoke passionately about the issue.

“Lack of support for the initiative essentially means lack of support for people of colour within the team, in South Africa and in the world as a whole,” Mbangwa said. “Excuse me if I sound political, but I can’t shed my skin.”

Sammy then added: “Sometimes I don’t understand: why is it so difficult to support this movement, if you understand what it stands for?”

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