South African wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock pulled out of his side’s eight wicket T20 World Cup win over the West Indies, after the team was directed to kneel before the game in a gesture against racism.
- All South Africa players had been told to take a knee prior to their remaining matches in the T20 World Cup
- Quinton de Kock withdrew from Tuesday’s game because of this directive
- The stance from Cricket South Africa came after the team was criticised for not having a uniform stance for the pre-match gesture
Cricket South Africa (CSA) on Monday announced all players were to “take the knee” prior to their remaining matches in the tournament.
It was a stance de Kock did not agree with and CSA confirmed he withdrew because he would not take the knee, which has in recent years become a gesture taken against social injustice and racism enacted by athletes from former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick to multiple times Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton.
“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,” the statement read.
“The Board will await a further report from team management before deciding on the next steps.”
In prior matches, some members of the South Africa team took the knee with their firsts raised, while others stood with fists raised.
Fast bowler Anrich Nortje and batsman Heinrich Klaasen, who are both white, have stood with their hands by their side before recent matches.
All members of the South African side took a knee before the first ball on Tuesday.
South Africa captain Temba Bavuma said de Kock’s decision caught the team off guard.
“As a team, we obviously were surprised and taken aback by the news,” Bavuma said.
“Quinton is a big player for the team, not just with the bat, but the role he plays from a senior point of view… not having that at my disposal as a captain was obviously something I wasn’t looking forward to.
As far as de Kock’s future in this tournament for the Proteas goes, Bavuma remained unsure what would happen but intimated the decision was out of his hands.
“I don’t know how far it’s going to develop,” Bavuma said of the issue with de Kock.
“It wouldn’t be my decision whether to replace Quinton or to get a substitute. That would be probably the coach and the selectors.
“But as far as we stand, Quinton is still one of the players. He’s still one of the boys, so whatever support that he needs, whatever shoulder that he requires from his teammates, we’ll be there for him.”
The directive from the Board came on the morning of the match and after criticism of the team for having different stances in the pre-match gesture.
CSA said in a statement that all players needed to be united in their stance on ending racism, considering the country’s racially charged history.
“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,” it said.
No de Kock, no worries for Proteas
De Kock’s absence mattered not to the Proteas in Dubai as they chased down the target of 144 with 10 balls to spare as Rassie van der Dussen (43) and Aiden Markram (51 off 26) blasted the Proteas to a much-needed victory.
South Africa, who lost their first match of the tournament to Australia, were not always in control as the West Indies got off to a flyer and were 0-73, thanks largely to opener Evin Lewis who smashed 56 from 35 deliveries.
However while Lewis was dominant, his opening partner Lendl Simmons struggled with the bat and made just 16 runs from 35 balls as his innings sapped the speed from his side’s innings.
It was then up to some of the big hitters in the West Indies’ side to try and dominate the game but both Nicholas Pooren and Chris Gayle were out for 12 trying to lift the run rate, with only captain Kieron Pollard really getting anything going late with 26 off 20 balls.
Dwaine Pretorius was the star for South Africa with the ball as he took 3-17 off his two overs.
The win over the West Indies moved South Africa to fourth in their group, behind England, Sri Lanka and Australia.
Conway’s catch can’t save New Zealand
Having already stunned major rivals India in their opening match for the tournament, Pakistan claimed another big scalp by beating New Zealand in a match that had it all.
The heroes were Pakistan pair Asif Ali, who lustily hit the winning runs in a quick-fire innings of 27 from 12 balls that included three sixes, and fast bowler Haris Rauf, who took 4-22 from his four overs including the key wickets of dangerous New Zealand opener Martin Guptill and Devon Conway.
While the match belonged to Pakistan, it was Conway who produced the biggest highlight, with a brilliant outfield catch to dismiss Mohammed Hafeez for 11 off the bowling of Mitchell Santner.
Hafeez looked to take the left-arm spinner on and hit him inside out over mid off before Conway moved brilliantly to his left and took the catch, diving at full stretch.
It left Pakistan 3-63 and looked to give New Zealand some hope as they tried to defend their meagre total of 134.
Indeed, with a few overs remaining, they still appeared a chance of defending the total.
At the end of the 16th over Pakistan still needed 37 runs to win from 24 balls and had just five wickets in hand, but Asif hit Tim Southee for consecutive sixes early in the over to cut the runs needed to 24 from the final three overs.
It was then Shoaib Malik’s turn as he hit Santner to the boundary and then long straight down the ground before Asif hit speedster Trent Boult for a six in the next over before scoring the winning runs.