De Kock chooses not to take the knee, opts out of West Indies match

At the toss, skipper Temba Bavuma explained de Kock was unavailable due to 'personal reasons' and Reeza Hendricks replaced him in the XI.

South Africa's Quinton De Kock (L) during training ahead of the West Indies game.   -  AFP

Quinton de Kock on Tuesday opted out of South Africa's Twenty20 World Cup match against the West Indies "for personal reasons" as the country's cricket board ordered players to take the knee.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) issued a statement saying it had taken note of de Kock's decision to not take the knee. It said, "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."

At the toss, skipper Temba Bavuma explained de Kock was unavailable due to 'personal reasons' with Reeza Hendricks replacing him in the XI.

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Before the start of the match, Indian cricketer Dinesh Karthik tweeted, "Quinton de Kock not playing because of his stand on BLM [Black Lives Matter] movement," with an image of de Kock refusing to take the knee.

De Kock had refused to take a knee in South Africa's Test series in the West Indies earlier this year.

CSA had issued a directive before this match, requiring all Proteas players to adopt a consistent and united stance against racism by “taking the knee” prior to the start of their remaining World T20 matches.

"The Cricket South Africa (CSA) Board on Monday evening unanimously agreed to issue a directive requiring all Proteas players to adopt a consistent and united stance against racism by 'taking the knee' prior to the start of their remaining World Cup matches," said a CSA statement.

"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.

 

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"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."

At the start of the match, commentators Daren Sammy and Pommie Mbangwa speculated de Kock's decision to sit out over his refusal to take the knee.

Mbangwa said, "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. Excuse me if I sound political, but I can't shed my skin."

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