Quinton de Kock in action against Australia. PIcture: ISURU SAMEERA/GALLO IMAGES
Quinton de Kock in action against Australia. PIcture: ISURU SAMEERA/GALLO IMAGES

Proteas captain Temba Bavuma admitted they were taken aback by the shock decision of Quinton de Kock to withdraw from the team that beat the West Indies after the SA players were ordered to take the knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

As a result of De Kock’s decision, the Cricket SA  board on Tuesday said in a statement that it will wait for a report from the Proteas team management before deciding on the next step.

“As a team we were obviously surprised and taken aback by the news. Quinton is a big player for the team, and not just with the bat but the role he plays from a senior and experienced point of view.

“Not having that at my disposal as the captain is something I was not looking forward to, but in saying that, Quinton is an adult, he is a man in his own shoes, we respect his decision and his convictions.

“I know that he will be standing behind whatever decision he has taken. From a team’s point of view, unfortunately we had to get the job done because there was still a game of cricket to be played for our country. It was important that as much as everything was happening, we find a way to get in the  right space.”

There are suggestions in certain sections of the public that De Kock be removed from the World Cup roster in the United Arab Emirates, but Bavuma said it is not his decision.

“I don’t know how far it’s going to develop. The decision that he took was only today. It wouldn’t be my decision whether to replace him and get a substitute. That will probably be the coach and the selectors.

“As far as we stand, Quinton is one of the players, he is still one of the boys, so whatever support he needs and whatever shoulder he requires as teammates we will be there for him. 

“If there is a need for further conversations that needs to be had, I am sure those will definitely happen amongst the guys.”

Bavuma said it was not ideal that players were only told on the morning of the crucial game that team members will have to take the knee. “The instruction from the board came through this morning. A meeting was convened between a couple of the members and that’s where that message was passed on to us.

“Before getting on the bus to travel to Dubai, that message was passed on to the players. The trip was for about an hour to two, and during that trip I guess that’s where Quinton made his decision. I found out as the captain when I got to the changing room.

“It was probably not ideal but, as players, whether the instruction came in the morning or last night, we were still going to deal with it at some stage anyway.

“The good thing is that we were still able to find a way, get on the field and still represent our country as well as we did,” said Bavuma, who added that De Kock has not explained the reasons for his decision.​

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