South African captain Temba Bavuma says Quinton de Kock will have to live with the consequences of not taking a knee

 NCA NewsWire
Some players take a knee and others don’t before South Africa’s World Cup match against Australia. Gareth Copley-ICC/ICC via Getty Images
Camera IconSome players take a knee and others don’t before South Africa’s World Cup match against Australia. Gareth Copley-ICC/ICC via Getty Images Credit: Supplied

South African captain Temba Bavuma said you “can’t escape the consequences of your actions” as superstar Quinton de Kock sensationally quit the World Cup for not take a knee with his team.

Bavuma said his teammates were “surprised and taken aback” when de Kock refused to follow a team directive announced before Tuesday night’s clash against the West Indies that it was now compulsory for all players to take a knee.

Players were only informed of the new directive before they boarded the team bus to the ground in Dubai, an hour long trip in which de Kock made his decision.

Minutes after Cricket South Africa’s release was issued, it was announced de Kock had withdrawn from the Windies match due to “personal reasons”. Later it was reported he had left the team base in Dubai before South Africa’s comfortable victory against the West Indies.

Bavuma was peppered with questions in the aftermath of the victory and said he would be “standing behind whatever decision that he’s taken” but couldn’t hide his shock.

“I think obviously as a team we’re obviously surprised and taken aback by the news,” he said.

“In saying that, Quinton is an adult. He’s a man in his own shoes. We respect his decision. We respect his convictions.

“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.

Australia v South Africa - ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021
Camera IconSome players take a knee and others don’t before South Africa’s World Cup match against Australia. Gareth Copley-ICC/ICC via Getty Images Credit: Supplied

“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 among the guys.”

Bavuma said de Kock made his decision on the bus trip to the ground in Dubai after the players were informed of the new directive from Cricket South Africa that all players must “take the knee”.

“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 said.

“Look, it’s probably not ideal, but I think in any case we would have had to deal with it as players whether the instruction came this morning, whether it came last night. I think we would have had to deal with it as players. It definitely wasn’t ideal.

“But those are just the cause that we’ve been told as a team.”

Bavuma said he didn’t know why de Kock didn’t want to take a knee as he previously had not done when players had a choice.

“I mean, like I said, Quinton is an adult; he made his decision. You kind of have to respect the decision that he made whether you agree with it or not,” he said.

“I don’t want to be the one to be fuelling any type of drama to say that a certain group had an issue with the fact that guys had a choice. We live in South Africa. We are governed by a constitution that allows guys their freedom to express their views, their choices.

“That’s exactly what happened with this matter. I think it’s something that we’ve spoken about. At least from the team’s point of view, we’ve spoken about it extensively. There have been statements that have been issued to help, I guess, guide the media, guide the fans in regards to our decision.

“I’m not in the subconscious of any player.

“As much as we’re a team, we wear the same shirt, we play for the badge, but outside of that, we still live our own lives, and those lives are different by the very nature that we live in South Africa.”

Bavuma said de Kock would have to live with the consequences of his actions.

“We can’t escape the consequences of the choices and decisions that we make,” he said.

Originally published as South African captain Temba Bavuma says Quinton de Kock will have to live with the consequences of not taking a knee

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails