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Quinton de Kock Defies CSA's Take the Knee Order: Pollard, Sammy & Others React

Quinton de Kock has previously refused to take the knee.

Updated
Cricket
4 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Kieron Pollard and Darren Sammy were among those who reacted to Quinton de Kock's decision to pull out of the game due to a directive from CSA about taking the knee.</p></div>
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That Quinton de Kock pulled out of the game against the West Indies at the eleventh hour, especially after Cricket South Africa directed their players to take the knee, left one and all quite surprised. Including his teammates, who were informed of the decision after the reached the stadium.

De Kock on his part has not explained his decision however CSA have noted his refusal to take the knee and have said they will wait for further communication from the team at the World Cup before taking a final call on how this pans out.

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Interestingly, before the game against West Indies, the Proteas had never taken the knee together as a unit. But be that as it may, the decision by de Kock did not go down too well with quite a few, including his teammates, who were shocked and the opposition players, and also some of the commentators who did not hold back on air.

‘Don’t Take the Knee in Pity’

Commentators Pommie Mbangwa and Daren Sammy were strong in their criticism for de Kock at the start of the game.

“I dare say Darren that cricket will take a back seat and it’s a big statement for me to make in a cricket World Cup where absolutely everybody would like to play in. I would say as the team concerned is South Africa who have a history of exclusion and racism. And for this as an issue to still be here is, huge.

“Excuse me for being political because some will say it is being political but I cannot shed my skin. I hope, I hope that the discussion at the very least can be about how to be united, about something that everybody agrees on. This is also in the hope that there is an agreement in that regard.

I’ll say this with regard to Quinton de Kock that freedom of choice is fair enough. I don’t want to speculate on what the personal reasons exactly are because I haven’t got those but I hope that discussion can actually be had. Thank you for letting me have my say. I’ll move on,” Mbangwa said.

“My mother used to always say that you got to stand for something or you will fall for anything. sometimes I don’t understand why is it so difficult to support this movement if you understand what it stands for. That’s just my opinion. What my kind have been through. There are other issues affecting the world but I don’t understand why it’s so difficult,” Sammy said on air.

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After the match, which South Africa won, West Indies captain Kieron Pollard was asked about de Kock’s decision and he said the incident and the reason that led up to it was ‘news’ to him.

"For me, personally, I don't know of any player who didn't want to take it (take the knee). I'm not aware of that. So this is sort of news to us or to me," Pollard said after suffering an eight-wicket loss to South Africa, their second consecutive in the Super 12 stage.

"Each and everyone has their own opinions on it, but as I've always said, once you're educated and you understand, we will understand why you are doing it, but I think education sort of is the key, and we don't want anyone doing it for us in solitude or to feel sorry for us."

South African skipper Temba Bavuma has said he was "surprised and taken aback" by the decision of team-mate Quinton de Kock to opt out of the game against the West Indies in the ICC T20 World Cup on Tuesday due to "personal reasons", adding that he will still get "whatever support he wants from the team".

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"We as a team were surprised and taken aback by the news. Quinton is a big player for the team, not only with the bat but also the role he plays from an experience point of view. Not having that at my disposal as a captain was obviously not something I was looking forward to," said Bavuma after the win against the West Indies.

"In saying that, Quinton is an adult. He's a man in his own shoes. We respect his decision, we respect his convictions."

On de Kock's future playing for South Africa, Bavuma said, "It wouldn't be my decision whether to replace Quinton or get a substitute. As far as we stand, Quinton is still one of the players, one of the boys. So whatever support that he needs, whatever shoulder that he requires from his teammates will be there for him. And if there's a need for further conversations to be had, those will definitely happen among the guys," he said.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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