Cricket South Africa on Tuesday ordered its players to take the knee before their T20 World Cup matches in support of the 'Black Lives Matter' movement, a directive that led to Quinton de Kock withdrawing from the game against the West Indies and laying bare the internal faultlines on the matter.
In a shocking move, wicketkeeper-batter de Kock made himself unavailable for selection in South Africa's Group 1 Super 12 stage match against the West Indies in Dubai on Tuesday, his decision coming after the CSA's diktat.
The board said it will await a report from the management before deciding on the next move.
"Cricket South Africa (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.
De Kock has expressed his reluctance to make the gesture in the past as well saying, "It's everyone's decision; no-one's forced to do anything, not in life. That's the way I see things."
De Kock found support from his captain Temba Bavuma, the first black to lead the side. Bavuma also said that "it wasn't ideal" to get a directive on taking the knee hours before the start of the match.
"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," he said.
"If there's a need for further conversations to be had, I'm sure those will definitely happen among the guys."
The country's cricket board, meanwhile, asked the players to follow the diktat and present a united front, citing the country's apartheid past when Black players were not allowed to be part of national teams.
"All players had been required, in line with a directive of the CSA Board on Monday evening, to "take the knee" in a united and consistent stance against racism.
"This is also the global gesture against racism that has been adopted by sportspeople across sporting codes because they recognise the power of sport to bring people together."
With inputs from PTI.
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