Team surprised and taken aback, but we respect Quinton de Kock's decision: Temba Bavuma

Team surprised and taken aback, but we respect Quinton de Kock’s decision: Temba Bavuma

De Kock pulled out of his team's 2021 T20 World Cup fixture against West Indies over CSA directive of taking a knee in support of the BLM campaign.

Temba Bavuma
Temba Bavuma. (Photo by RODGER BOSCH/AFP via Getty Images)

South Africa skipper Temba Bavuma admitted that the team was surprised by Quinton de Kock’s pullout from the fixture against West Indies on October 26 over taking a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter campaign but stated one needs to respect his decision.

“As a team, we are surprised and taken aback by the news. Quinton is a big player for the team, not just with the bat, but from a senior point of view, so not having this at my disposal, as a captain, is obviously something I wasn’t looking forward to,” Bavuma said during a virtual press meet after South Africa’s win over West Indies.

“In saying that, Quinton is an adult. He is a man in his own shoes. We respect his decision, we respect his convictions, and I know he will be standing behind the decision he has taken,” he added.

Cricket South Africa (CSA), on October 26, issued a directive ahead of the West Indies encounter to collectively take a knee after “concerns were raised that the different postures [taking a knee, raising a fist or standing in attention] taken by team members in support of the BLM initiative created an unintended perception of disparity or lack of support for the initiative.”

At the times of the toss, news emerged that de Kock has pulled out due to personal reasons, which were later found to be a refusal to take a knee. “I don’t know how far it’s going to develop. I mean, the decision that he (de Kock) has taken is only today, so I can only speak about what has happened today,” Bavuma said.

Asked if de Kock told the players the reason behind his stance, he told: “I think you’ve got to appreciate the fact that the instruction came this morning from the board, and there wasn’t a great deal of time for us to thoroughly discuss the matter.”

West Indies skipper Kieron Pollard, de Kock’s Mumbai Indians teammate, stated that he remains entirely unaware about the matter and would avoid speculating anything. “For me, personally, I don’t know of any player who didn’t want to take it. I’m not aware of that. So this is news to me,” said Pollard.

“I can’t speak about something I don’t know. I don’t want to speculate. I have a lot on my plate.”