Proteas captain Temba Bavuma says the team will find out more about Quinton de Kock’s decision to pull out of their T20 World Cup match against the West Indies over the next couple of days.
Cricket South Africa said in a statement on Tuesday, 45 minutes before the match, that it had instructed all Proteas players to ‘take the knee’ before the start of their remaining matches at the T20 World Cup in support of Black Lives Matter.
Shortly after, it was announced that De Kock had withdrawn from the team for “personal reasons”. TV commentator Pommie Mbangwa confirmed that CSA’s BLM directive was the reason for his decision.
The Proteas went on to beat the West Indies by eight wickets.
“We as a team were surprised and taken aback by the news,” Bavuma said afterwards. “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.
“Quinton is an adult. We respect his decision. We respect his convictions. I don’t know how far it’s going to develop. I mean, the decision that he has taken is only today, so I can only speak about what has happened today.”
Bavuma said the CSA directive had come on Tuesday morning.
“A meeting was convened between a couple of members, and that’s where that message was passed on to us,” he said.
“I think the trip [to the stadium] was about an hour and a half to two hours. In that trip, I guess that’s where Quinton made his decision. I found out when we got to the changing room.”
Asked if De Kock had explained the reason behind not taking the knee, Bavuma said: “I think you’ve got to appreciate the fact that the instruction came this morning from the board, and there wasn’t a great deal of time for us to kind of thoroughly discuss this matter.
“Unfortunately for us as players, it was a matter of us digesting what we’ve been told and finding a way for us to move forward.
“We’ve got a couple of days until our next game, and I think those days will be tough for the group. But I think guys will want to know in terms of his decision, they will use that time to find it out a bit better. You kind of have to respect the decision that Quinton made, whether you agree with it or not.”
The Proteas’ next match is against Sri Lanka on Saturday.