T20 World Cup 2021: South Africa skipper Temba Bavuma felt “it wasn’t ideal” to get a directive on taking the knee hours before the start of their T20 World Cup match against the West Indies in Dubai on October 27.
He also extended his support for Quinton de Kock, who opted out of the game instead of following the command supporting the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement.
“Quinton is an adult. He’s a man in his own shoes. We respect his decision. We respect his convictions,” Bavuma said at a media interaction after his side defeated the defending champions by eight wickets.
“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.”
“If there’s a need for further conversations to be had, I’m sure those will definitely happen among the guys.”
The order from the board came in the morning of the game day and a meeting was arranged between a couple of team members before being passed on to the players.
“I think the trip was about an hour and a half to two hours. I guess that’s where Quinton made his decision. We found out — I found out as the captain when we got to the changing room.”
“It definitely wasn’t ideal. But I think in any case, we would have had to deal with it as players, whether the instruction came this morning, whether it came last night. I think we would have had to deal with it as players,” he said. “Obviously as a team we’re surprised and taken aback by the news. Quinton is a big player for the team, not just with the bat.
“But the role he plays from a senior point of view and from an experience point of view, and not having that at my disposal as a captain was obviously something I wasn’t looking forward to.”
Asked whether they would look for a replacement if De Kock continues the stand of not taking the knee, Bavuma said: “I don’t know how far it’s going to develop.”
“I mean, the decision that he’s taken is only today, so I can only speak about what has happened today. It wouldn’t be my decision whether to replace Quinton or to get a substitute. That would be the coach and the selectors’ call.”
(With PTI input)
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