Months ago, before the West Indies tour South African cricketers on field didn’t adapt a common stance against racism as most knelt, few raised their fist but three (Quinton de Kock, Heinrich Klaasen and Anrich Nortje) remained with their hand behind their back. Cricket South Africa (CSA) had given the players three options in kneeling, raising a fist or standing in attention.
South Africa in their opening game of the T20 World Cup lost in a tense finish to Australia, the game saw a few players take knee but not all. This act forced Cricket South Africa to stricter their stance and instructed the team to adopt a consistent and united stand against racism. South African players before the win in their second game against West Indies that didn’t feature Quinton de Kock obliged including Heinrich Klaasen and Anrich Nortje.
Game day morning a meeting was held between a few team members and the board, a message was passed on to players five hours before the West Indies game that said they would all require to take a knee. Quinton de Kock on his trip to the venue had a lot playing on his mind and on reaching the venue he in the changeroom conveyed the news to skipper, Temba Bavuma of his unavailability. Temba Bavuma at the toss said de Kock is unavailable due to personal reasons. CSA put out an official release that read ” CSA notes decision by Quinton de Kock not to take the knee; will consider next steps after receiving reports from management.”
Quinton de Kock was questioned during South Africa’s West Indies tour early this year on his stance against racism, 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.”
As several reports suggest, de Kock had left the team base in Dubai before the sides comprehensive win over the West Indies. It’s likely that de Kock might not take part in the tournament ahead if CSA don’t reverse their decision. de Kock is expected to release a statement on his stance in the coming days as for now he is looking a way out of the UAE.
Post match, skipper Bavuma said “As a team we are suprised and taken aback by the news. Quinton is a big player for the team, not just with the bat, but from a senior point of view, so not having this at my disposal, as a captain, is something I wasn’t looking forward to. In saying that, Quinton is an adult. He is a man in his own shoes. We respect his decision, we respect his convictions, and I know he will be standing behind the decision he has taken.