Dubai – Proteas captain Temba Bavuma has revealed that Quinton de Kock's decision to withdraw from the crucial ICC T2O World Cup match against the West Indies was only made on the bus enroute from Abu Dhabi to the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
De Kock's withdrawal was due to not wanting to take a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement after CSA issued a directive on Tuesday morning that the Proteas Men's team should take a knee prior to the start of all their remaining matches at the T20 World Cup.
"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," Bavuma said.
"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."
Bavuma admitted these dramatic events that unfolded had an emotional affect on the team, although they showed great character to complete an eight-wicket victory over the Windies.
"When the news hit us it did kind of take us back as a team. A guy like Quinnie, he obviously plays an integral role within the team, not just with the bat but as a senior player but with that, (Heinrich) Klaasen coming in there was an opportunity for him," Bavuma said post-match.
"It was another game of cricket that we had to play for our country and we had to live up to that."
It is unclear at this stage what censure CSA will impose on De Kock and whether he will indeed remain a part of the T20 World Cup squad, particularly as the directive will be implemented throughout the World Cup.
Bavuma could not provide any further information on De Kock's continued participation at the T20 World Cup, simply stating: "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."
Bavuma stressed that the decision to possibly replace De Kock does not lay with him and that the wicket-keeper/batter remains "one of the boys".
"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," Bavuma said.
"If there's a need for further conversations to be had, I'm sure those will definitely happen amongst the guys."