T20 World Cup 2021: Quinton de Kock incident brought the South Africa team together, says Faf du Plessis

South Africa opener Quinton de Kock opted to sit out from the side’s first game against West Indies in the T20 World Cup 2021 last month after the wicketkeeper-batsman decided not to ‘take the knee’ along with the rest of the teammate. Former South Africa captain and Chennai Super Kings opener Faf du Plessis has now spoken out in support of his teammate De Kock claiming it was wrong on the part of the team to spring this decision at the ‘last moment’.

“It was very tough for the team to be asked to do something like this on the morning of the match and it was unfortunate that it happened. From my personal perspective, there would have been equal backlash if De Kock ‘took the knee’ or he didn’t. Skipper Temba Bavuma came out nicely to support Quinton and that incident brough the team together,” Du Plessis, who will be leading Bangla Tigers in the Abu Dhabi T10 league later this month, said during a virtual interaction.

De Kock said that he never wanted it to become an issue about him and maintained that he is aware about the struggles of the black community. “I would like to start by saying sorry to my teammates, and the fans back home,” De Kock said in a statement.

“I never ever wanted to make this a Quinton issue. I understand the importance of standing against racism and I also understand the responsibility of us as players to set an example. If me taking a knee helps educate other, and makes the lives of others better, I am more than happy to do so.

“I did not in any way mean to disrespect anyone by not playing against West Indies, especially the West Indian team themselves. Maybe some people don’t understand that we were just hit with this on Tuesday morning, on our way to the game,” he added.

The Mumbai Indians opener decided to ‘take the knee’ from the second game onwards against Sri Lanka in the T20 World Cup.

‘Didn’t expect to get selected for World Cup’

Meanwhile, Du Plessis said that he didn’t expect to get selected for the T20 World Cup 2021 after he was left out of the squad to face Sri Lanka in a limited-overs series earlier this year.

“I felt that I won’t get selected for the T20 World Cup when I wasn’t picked for the Sri Lanka tour. My performances in the IPL 2021 were exceptional and there’s a lot more to it. But I expected to be left out,” the Chennai Super Kings opener, who finished as the second-highest run-getter in IPL 2021 with 633 runs, said.


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Sagar Biswas

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