South Africa and West Indies are involved in a crucial encounter of the 20-20 World Cup. The Proteas won the toss and opted to field. One thing that shocked many was the omission of the star wicketkeeper-batter Quinton de Kock from the playing XI. While skipper Bavuma mentioned that De Kock pulled out of the match owing to personal issues, the reason for the same has been disclosed now.
As per Cricbuzz, Quinton de Kock pulled out of the match after Cricket South Africa (CSA) mandated all South African players to take a knee before the match. For the unversed, taking a knee is a trend that is being followed during sporting events in support of the ‘Black Lives Matter Movement’.
Earlier, South Africa players had three options to show their support for the movement – Kneel, raise a fist or stand to attention. However, De Kock didn’t follow any of the gestures and stood with his hands slung behind his back in many games.
When De Kock was asked about his stance on the movement, the southpaw said he does not want to disclose it to the public as it’s his personal opinion. “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, said De Kock at an online press conference during South Africa’s Test series aghainst West Indies.
On their decision to mandate the players to take a knee before the match, CSA revealed that following different gestures created an unintended perception of disparity or lack of support for the initiative, which is why they asked the players to take a knee, which will depict a united stand against racism.
“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.
“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 South Africa’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,” read CSA’s release.
It will be interesting to see if De Kock takes further part in the tournament. Meanwhile, Henrich Klaasen took over the gloves from the southpaw in the ongoing game. South Africa need to register a win against West Indies to keep their hopes alive for the tournament. A loss will get their campaign in jeopardy.