South Africa Skipper Admits 'Surprise' at de Kock Decision

South Africa Skipper Admits 'Surprise' at de Kock Decision Photo: TT
South Africa's Quinton de Kock walks from the field after he was dismissed during the Cricket Twenty20 World Cup match between South Africa and Australia in Abu Dhabi

South Africa captain Temba Bavuma admits he was surprised by Quinton de Kock’s decision to withdraw from Tuesday’s T20 World Cup win over the West Indies but says he must respect it.

Proteas wicketkeeper-batsman de Kock was a shock omission from the South African XI for Tuesday’s eight-wicket win over the reigning champions.

De Kock only made 7 in South Africa’s opening loss to Australia but is arguably the side’s most credentialed T20 batsman, winning the IPL last year with the Mumbai Indians.

Bavuma revealed at the coin toss de Kock made himself unavailable for personal reasons, which Cricket South Africa (CSA) later elaborated on.

CSA had announced on Monday all players would “take the knee” prior to the game in solidarity against social injustice and racism.

“Cricket South Africa 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,” CSA said in a statement on Tuesday.

“All players had been required, in line with a directive of the CSA board on Monday evening in a united and consistent stance against racism. The Board will await a further report from team management before deciding on the next steps.”

The decision has divided opinions and Bavuma tried not to be drawn into the debate after the game.

“As a team we are obviously surprised and taken aback by the news,’’ Bavuma said. “Quinton is an adult. He’s a man in his own shoes.

“We respect his decision. We respect his convictions. I know he will be standing behind whatever decision he has taken.

“I don’t know how it’s going to develop. It wouldn’t be my decision whether to replace Quinton or get a substitute. That would be probably the coach and the selectors.

“But 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.”

South Africa’s next match is against Sri Lanka on Saturday.

Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer @bensomerford
Australian journalist who specialises on all sports, focusing on football, tennis, basketball and racing, having written for global publications including FourFourTwo, AAP, Inside Futbol and many more....

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