Wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock has skipped South Africa’s Twenty20 World Cup match against the West Indies for “personal reasons” after the Proteas were directed to take a knee in their remaining matches in the tournament.
“He’s made himself unavailable for personal reasons,” South Africa captain Temba Bavuma said at the toss before the Group I match at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
Cricket South Africa (CSA) said its board had met on Monday evening and decided the team should adopt “a consistent and united stance against racism” by taking the knee to support the Black Lives Matter movement prior to the start of their remaining matches.
“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,” the CSA statement read.
Quinton de Kock has made himself unavailable due to personal reasons
— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) October 26, 2021
The directive came in a statement after “concerns were raised” over the “different postures” taken by its players ahead of warmup matches and the team’s first World Cup game against Australia on Saturday.
The statement from CSA came just over an hour before play began in South Africa’s match with the West Indies in Dubai, and it had immediate ramifications.
De Kock had declined to take a knee in the past calling it “my own personal opinion”.
“It’s everyone’s decision. No one is forced to do anything. Not in life. That’s the way I see things. That’s just about it,” de Kock said in June.
CSA board chairperson Lawson Naidoo said commitment to overcoming racism “is the glue that should unite” the team.
“Diversity can and should find expression in many facets of our daily lives, but not when it comes to taking a stand against racism,” Naidoo said.