South African players were shocked and bewildered after South Africa’s top-order batsman Quinton de Kock refused to kneel and then pulled out of the match against West Indies. But it is not known why de Kock is actually against supporting the initiative launched by the players to protest apartheid. De Kock may issue a statement clarifying his stand in the coming days. However, for now, South Africa captain Temba Bavuma wants the team to respect de Kock’s decision.
Bavuma said, “As a team, we are shocked and shocked by this news. Quinton is a big player for the team, not only with the bat but also from the point of view of being a senior player. This is obviously something I was not expecting. He said after South Africa’s win over West Indies, ‘Quinton is an adult. He is capable of taking his own decisions. We respect his decision, we respect his beliefs, and I know the decision he has taken must have been a conscious decision.’
Bavuma and his team received a directive from their cricket board 5 hours before the match against West Indies in Dubai on Tuesday, asking players to take a collective knee before every match. Bavuma revealed, “Before boarding the bus to Dubai, this message was given to the players. With Quinton making his decision during the one and a half to two hour journey from Abu Dhabi to Dubai, the team did not have time to find out why De Kock was refusing to accept the decision.
He further said, ‘I came to know about this decision as captain when I went to the change room. We had very little time to fully discuss the matter.’ It was one of the toughest days for me as a captain. It is not easy to deal with such cases as a captain but it is a matter of relief that today our team won the match by 8 wickets. Everyone has their own opinion on this, but as I have always said, once you are educated you start to understand and are ready to understand many things. I think education is the key and we don’t want anyone to oppose apartheid to us just because he is feeling sorry for us.’
He added that players who want to know more about De Kock’s decision can find out ahead of South Africa’s next match against Sri Lanka on Saturday. “We have a few days before the next match and I think those days will be tough for our team as a group,” Bavuma said. Those who want to know about his decision will get to know during the coming match. Quinton is an adult, he has made his decision. You have to respect it, whether you agree with it or not.