Proteas fast-bowler Lungi Ngidi has stressed that there is no division in the team and that each player was entitled to their own way of recognising the Black Lives Matter movement.
Ngidi, who took a sensational 5-19 on the opening day’s play of the first Test between the Proteas and the West Indies, said the choices of his teammates on how to observe the BLM movement needed to be respected.
Before the start of play the entire Proteas management staff took the knee, as did most of the players. Wiaan Mulder, Aiden Markram, Dean Elgar and Anrich Nortje raised a fist, while Quinton de Kock stood to attention.
Ngidi was one of the first Proteas players to speak out about BLM following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, arguing that there needed to be a conversation about the movement within South African cricket.
Though Ngidi remains committed to taking the knee as his way of showing support, he suggested there was no divisiveness in his teammates taking a different approach.
‘We come from a diverse country and to be honest, I don’t think it’s fair for me to speak for other people. Everyone is entitled to their own choice and I have been clear in my stance, but in terms of the team, there was no division at all.
‘Anything you wanted to do, you could do. It was that simple. You could see that in the way we were playing, everyone was happy for everyone. We play for South Africa and that’s all we try to do as players.’
Ngidi spearheaded a bowling onslaught that skittles the West Indies for only 97, their lowest total against South Africa in Tests. At stumps on the first day South Africa were 128/4 with a lead of 31 runs after a well played 60 by Aiden Markram.
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) June 10, 2021
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