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Lungi Ngidi defends his teammates after some Proteas didn’t take a knee

Lungi Ngidi, Kagiso Rabada, Rassie van der Dussen, Keegan Petersen, Keshav Maharaj, and Kyle Verreynne were the South African players who took a knee before the start of play

Lungi Ngidi
Lungi Ngidi ( Image Credit: Twitter)

Lungi Ngidi was among the six South Africans who joined their West Indian counterparts in taking a knee to show solidarity for the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement.  Lungi Ngidi, Kagiso Rabada, Rassie van der Dussen, Keegan Petersen, Keshav Maharaj, and Kyle Verreynne took a knee before the start of play while skipper Dean Elgar along with other members stood with their right fists raised while Quinton de Kock had his hand behind his back.

When asked about South African players refusing to take a knee, Ngidi said the fact that not all South African players took a knee is a sign of diversity, not division, adding that every player is entitled to his own choices.

“We come from a diverse country. It’s not fair for me to speak for other people, everyone’s entitled to their own choices in life. I’ve been very clear on my stance. In terms of the team, there is no division at all. You could see today in the way we were playing – everyone’s happy for everyone – we play for South Africa which is all we are trying to do as players.”

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West Indies skipper Kraigg Brathwaite had already made it clear that everyone from his team will be taking a knee before the match. Meanwhile, Dean Elgar told Brathwaite that while they respect West Indies’ perspective, the decision to take or not take a knee depends on individuals.

“Ultimately what happened, we gave them our version with regard to their campaign and us supporting the campaign. We’ve given the players the right to perform whatever gesture or act they want to perform. If players are comfortable with taking the knee they may. If a player wants to raise his right fist they are entitled to do that. If players aren’t comfortable just yet, they’ve got to stand to attention to show respect to the campaign,” said Elgar

South Africa had a dominating day on the field and bowled out the hosts for a paltry 97 in the first innings. Lungi Ngidi led the charge with a five-wicket haul while Anrich Nortje accounted for four wickets. South Africa ended the day at 128-4, 31 runs ahead of West Indies’ total.

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