Proteas back to winning ways despite Quinton de Kock drama

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Despite all the off-the-field drama after Cricket South Africa’s directive to all players to take the knee before the ICC T20 World Cup match against the West Indies led to Quinton de Kock withdrawing from the team, the Proteas are back to winning ways.

After their narrow defeat to Australia in their opening match, South Africa bounced back to beat the Windies by eight wickets in Dubai this afternoon.

The Windies were sent in to bat and were restricted to 143 for eight in their 20 overs.

Anrich Nortje was the star bowler and took one for 14 in his four overs.

The Proteas chased down the required runs with 10 balls to spare.

Aiden Markram scored an unbeaten 51 off 26 deliveries, while Rassie van der Dussen was 43 not out in the end.

Cricket South Africa’s board has 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 T20 World Cup matches in the United Emirates.

Concerns were raised that the different postures taken by team members in support of the 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.

“Taking the knee” is the global gesture against racism adopted by sportspeople across sporting codes because they recognise the power sport has to bring people together.

De Kock skipped Tuesday’s Twenty20 World Cup match against West Indies citing “personal reasons” after the team 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 their Group I match at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

De Kock could be in trouble with Cricket South Africa (CSA) seeking a report from the team management.

“…(CSA) 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,” the CSA said in a statement.

“The Board will await a further report from team management before deciding on the next steps.”

Earlier in another statement, the CSA said its board met on Monday evening and decided the team should adopt “a consistent and united stance against racism” by taking the knee 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.

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. – additional reporting by Reuters