South Africa’s directive for all their players to take a knee in the rest of the T20 World Cup was followed by star wicketkeeper-batter Quinton de Kock dramatically withdrawing from the line-up to face the West Indies.
Cricket South Africa announced a couple of hours before the Super 12 contest against the Windies in Dubai that the gesture be carried out before every match to take “a united and consistent stand against racism”.
De Kock has previously elected not to take part in the anti-racism gesture before and it was disclosed at the toss he had made himself unavailable for this fixture for “personal reasons”.
CSA added in a statement: “Cricket South Africa has noted the personal decision by South African wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock not to ‘take the knee’ ahead of Tuesday’s game against the West Indies.
“All players had been required, in line with a directive of the CSA board on Monday evening, to “take the knee” in a united and consistent stance against racism.
“This is also the global gesture against racism that has been adopted by sportspeople across sporting codes because they recognise the power of sport to bring people together.
“After considering all relevant issues, including the freedom of choice of players, the board had made it clear it was imperative for the team to be seen taking a stand against racism, especially given SA’s history.
“The board’s view was that while diversity can and should find expression in many facets of daily lives, this did not apply when it came to taking a stand against racism.
“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.”
Ahead of the start of the fixture, a South Africa side led by Temba Bavuma – the nation’s first permanent black captain – went on to the field without De Kock and took the knee.
A number of teams have taken the knee during this tournament, a gesture that has become a feature before play in a number of other sports.