FILE - Proteas star Quinton de Kock. Photo: Christiaan Kotze/BackpagePix
FILE - Proteas star Quinton de Kock. Photo: Christiaan Kotze/BackpagePix

No statement yet from Quinton de Kock as his cricket career hangs in the balance

By Zaahier Adams Time of article published Oct 27, 2021

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Dubai – Cricket SA and Quinton de Kock remain at loggerheads after an intense day of discussions on Wednesday.

De Kock's future participation at the ICC T20 World Cup here, and in fact his entire international career, was placed in jeopardy on Tuesday morning ahead of South Africa's Pool 1 match against the West Indies at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

ALSO READ: Proteas should take uniform approach to support BLM and kneel, says SA Cricketers Association

The Proteas wicket-keeper/batsman took umbrage with a Cricket SA Board directive that was delivered three hours before the toss which stated the entire men's national cricket team to take a collective knee – the global symbol of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement opposing racism and promoting equality – for the remainder of the tournament.

The Proteas ultimately took the field without De Kock, who withdrew from the match. It was expected that De Kock would release a statement on Wednesday clarifying his stance for not wanting to take the knee, but that has not transpired as yet.

Independent Media understands that De Kock and Cricket SA Director of Cricket Graeme Smith were involved in lengthy meeting in regards to the way forward, while South African Cricketers Association chief Andrew Breetzke was also called upon to discuss the severity of the situation with the 28-year-old.

ALSO READ: Cricket, race relations bedfellows ever since West Indies were ’honorary whites’ in SA

It is not only De Kock's international future that is in doubt, but also his future involvement at the Indian Premier League.

De Kock was recently part of the Mumbai Indians squad where his contract is valued at close to $500 000. Although all the players are due to head back into the auction pot next year, it would be highly unlikely that the brand conscious Mumbai Indians would want to be associated with a player that is seemingly opposed to taking a stance against racism and equality.

The only confirmation Cricket SA could provide on Wednesday was that De Kock was definitely still in the UAE contrary to reports that he had boarded a plane back to South Africa.

"I can confirm that he is still very much a part of the Proteas team and has not been sent home as some reports have incorrectly stated," Proteas Media liaison Siphokazi Sokanyile said in a statement.

"There is no update on Quinton de Kock as yet. His statement is being finalised and will be shared as soon as possible."

Meanwhile, some members of the Proteas squad enjoyed a round of golf on Wednesday, which is allowed under the bio-secure protocols, after being given the morning off after the eight-wicket victory over the Windies before returning for a meeting where members of the CSA Board who addressed them on the prevailing issues.

ALSO READ: CONFIRMED: Quinton de Kock withdraws from Proteas T20 World Cup match over ’having to take the knee’

Coach Mark Boucher was also part of the team meeting with the CSA Board which ran until late on Wednesday evening.

A further complication for the Proteas should De Kock depart the UAE is that the ICC tournament rules dicate that a replacement can only be called upon due to an injury within the squad, although it does accommodate "exceptional circumstances" which then has to be approved by the event technical committee.

The Proteas' next match at the ICC T20 World Cup is against Sri Lanka on Saturday in Sharjah.

@ZaahierAdams

IOL Sport

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