South Africa’s limited-overs captain Temba Bavuma has insisted that no Proteas player will be forced to take a knee during the five-match T20I series against the West Indies, starting today.
The Proteas’ first black African captain maintained that the team would support an individual’s decision on how they want to express their support for social justice.
The South African Test team, led by Dean Elgar, followed a similar path recently, as each Proteas player decided for themselves on whether to take a knee before the start of a game.
On the eve of the T20I series against the West Indies, Temba Bavuma said in a virtual press conference:
“The decision that has been made stands across the team, across all the formats. I was part of the decision and the discussion. It wouldn’t make sense for the Test team to do one thing and the white-ball team to do another. I do accept the decision for the guys to be given the freedom to express whatever they want to express. At the end of the day it’s a personal decision and we don’t want it to get in the way of that. I believe it’s the best decision to allow guys to express what they would want.”
The West Indies players have continued to take a knee in support of the “Black Lives Matter” movement since last year and will once again follow suit in the T20I series against South Africa.
Earlier during the Test series against the Windies, several South African players took the knee, while others had their fists raised while standing. Some also had their hands behind their backs.
“There is no division at all” – Lungi Ngidi defends his teammates
Lungi Ngidi was one of the South African players to take a knee during the recently concluded Test series against West Indies. The pacer, however, defended his teammates when there were questions raised about a divided dressing room as not every Proteas player was in agreement to take a knee.
Ngidi, who asserted that not taking a knee wasn’t a sign of a divided South African dressing room, said during the first Test:
“We come from a diverse country. It’s not fair for me to speak for other people, everyone’s entitled to their own choices in life. I’ve been very clear on my stance. In terms of the team, there is no division at all.”
Following their comprehensive 2-0 win in the two-match Test series, South Africa will be high on confidence. However, West Indies are two-time world champions in the shortest format, and one can expect them to present a tougher challenge in the five T20Is.
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