Dubai [UAE], October 26 (ANI): South Africa skipper Temba Bavuma said the Proteas respect opener Quinton de Kock's decision to not take a knee in the ongoing T20 World Cup on Tuesday.
De Kock decided not to take the knee ahead of Tuesday's game against the West Indies and the batter missed the match following his decisions.
"I think obviously as a team we're obviously surprised and taken aback by the news. Obviously, 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," said Bavuma in the post-match press conference as per ICC.
"In saying that, Quinton is an adult. He's a man in his own shoes. We respect his decision. We respect his convictions. I know that he'll be standing behind whatever decision that he's taken."
"From the team's point of view, unfortunately, we still have to get the job done. There was still a game of cricket there for our country, and it was important, as much as everything was happening, that we found a way to get into the right mental space and take it home for our country," he added.
Cricket South Africa said all players had been required, in line with a directive of the Board on Monday evening, to "take the knee" in a united and consistent stance against racism.
"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 probably the coach and the selectors," said Bavuma.
"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."
"If there's a need for further conversations to be had, I'm sure those will definitely happen amongst the guys," he added.
The South Africa skipper said instruction from the country's cricket board came in the morning and De Kock might have taken his decision of not taking the knee afterwards.
"The instruction from the board came in the morning, this morning. A meeting was convened between a couple of members, and that's where that message was passed on to us. We then before, I guess, getting on the bus to travel to Dubai, that message was passed on to the players," said Bavuma.
"I think the trip was about an hour and a half to two hours. In that trip 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," he added.
South Africa defeated West Indies to open their Super 12s account on Tuesday.
The Proteas limited the West Indies to 143 for eight as Dwaine Pretorious took three wickets late on to put the brakes on an innings that had looked set to reach a far more imposing total after opener Evin Lewis's blistering 56.
In reply, South Africa rallied well from the early loss of captain Temba Bavuma and never looked in trouble in pursuit of the runs as Aiden Markram's destructive 51 not out from just 26 balls broke the West Indies' resolve en route to an eight-wicket win. (ANI)