Editor’s note: The report has been updated with CSA’s statement on Quinton de Kock’s decision to withdraw from the game against the West Indies.
South Africa wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock opted out of their must-win match against holders West Indies at the T20 World Cup on Tuesday.
Skipper Temba Bavuma won the toss and elected to field and the Proteas brought in Reeza Hendricks in place of De Kock who misses out due to “personal reasons”. They had lost their tournament opener to Australia.
“It’s been a bit challenging to know what a good score is so we want to have a look,” Bavuma said on his team’s decision to bowl. “He [De Kock] has made himself unavailable for personal reasons.”
In a statement issued a little late, Cricket South Africa has noted the personal decision by South African wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock not to “take the knee” ahead of the match against the West Indies.
Earlier, on Monday night, CSA had announced that they have issued a directive requiring all Proteas players to “adopt a consistent and united stance against racism by taking the knee” ahead of their remaining World Cup matches.
De Kock’s decision raised eyebrows as he had previously refused to take part in the anti-racism gesture that has become a regular feature in most sporting events. The wicketkeeper refused to take a knee in South Africa’s Test series in the West Indies earlier this year, according to AFP.
“Concerns were raised that the different postures taken by team members in support of the BLM initiative created an unintended perception of disparity or lack of support for the initiative.” CSA said in its statement.
“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.
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.
“Taking the knee” is the global gesture against racism adopted by sportspeople across sporting codes because they recognise the power sport has to bring people together,” it added.
West Indies, who were hammered by England in their first Super 12 match after being dismissed for 55, have made one change with Hayden Walsh replacing Obed McCoy.