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Featured Image Credit: PA
By Jess Hardiman
Wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock, 28, withdrew from South Africa's T20 game with the West Indies, having refused a team-wide order to take the knee.
South Africa captain Temba Bavuma confirmed de Kock was unavailable for 'personal reasons', while Cricket South Africa (CSA) said it would 'await a further report from team management before deciding on next steps'.
CSA had issued an order to the team before the match, telling players they must all take the knee as a 'stand against racism'.
It said in a statement: "Cricket South Africa (CSA) 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.
"All players had been required, in line with a directive of the CSA Board on Monday evening, to 'take the knee' in a united and consistent stance against racism.
"This is also the global gesture against racism that has been adopted by sportspeople across sporting codes because they recognise the power of sport to bring people together.
"After considering all relevant issues, including the freedom of choice of players, the Board had made it clear it was imperative for the team to be seen taking a stand against racism, especially given SA's history. The Board's view was that while diversity can and should find expression in many facets of daily lives, this did not apply when it came to taking a stand against racism."
Statement put out by SA cricket board on Quinton de Kock refusing to take the knee today pic.twitter.com/7rIrdgCUTp- Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) October 26, 2021
CSA continued: "The Board will await a further report from team management before deciding on the next steps. All players are expected to follow this directive for the remaining games of the World Cup.
"CSA thanks all other Proteas players for agreeing to unite and make such an important public stand against racism."
In response to the new guidance, the remaining platers that faced the West Indies all took the knee.
De Kock has declined to take a knee in the past, with the Telegraph reporting Cricket South Africa had previously allowed players to either take a knee, raise a fist or stand to attention before matches, but that De Kock was the only player not to do any of these three options.
Back in June, he said: "My reason? I'll keep it to myself. It's my own, personal opinion.
"It's everyone's decision; no-one's forced to do anything, not in life. That's the way I see things."
West Indies all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite said he could see both sides of the argument.
He told BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra: "I know Quinton de Kock quite well and I have never felt any bad blood or bad vibe from him. We get on very well but I want to know from him what his reason was.
"I'm not an advocate of forcing anyone to do something that they don't want to do. But I also understand where Cricket South Africa is coming from, this is a watershed moment for the Black Lives Matter movement.
"There are a lot of conversations and a lot of education that still has to happen around why you take the knee, what it signifies, but, more importantly for things to change in society, taking a knee has to be a start and not the be all and end all.
"Why wasn't this planned better? Why wasn't there a meeting or a directive before the tournament to let everyone know that this is where Cricket South Africa stands?"