Proteas to take the knee for remainder of T20 World Cup

The first game for the team to observe the gesture will be Tuesday's second game against the West Indies.

South African players celebrate after the dismissal of Australia's captain Aaron Finch (not pictured) during the ICC men’s Twenty20 World Cup cricket match between Australia and South Africa at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on 23 October 2021. Picture: INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Cricket South Africa's board on Monday evening unanimously agreed to issue a directive requiring all Proteas players to adopt a consistent and united stance against racism by kneeling prior to the start of their remaining Twenty20 World Cup matches in the United Arab Emirates.

The first game for the team to observe the gesture will be Tuesday's second game against the West Indies.

The ICC T20 World Cup proper starts on 23 October when the Proteas take on Australia. Follow the Proteas' progress at the tournament with our fixture list. Picture: Eyewitness News

The decision comes after concerns were raised about the different postures taken by team members in support of the Black Lives Matter initiative created an unintended perception of disparity or lack of support for the initiative.

After considering all relevant issues, including the position of the players, the board felt that it was imperative for the team to be seen taking a united and consistent stand against racism, especially given South Africa’s history.

Several other teams at the World Cup have adopted a consistent stance against the issue, and the board felt that it was time for all South African players to do the same.

"A commitment to overcoming racism is the glue that should unite, bind and strengthen us," CSA board chairperson, Lawson Naidoo said.

"Race should not be manipulated to amplify our weaknesses. Diversity can and should find expression in many facets of our daily lives, but not when it comes to taking a stand against racism. South Africans were recently joined by people across the world in celebrating the 90th birthday of our revered Archbishop Desmond Tutu. What better tribute from the Proteas to an icon of the struggle for freedom in South Africa than to demonstrate we are working to fulfill his vision of a united South Africa," Naidoo said.

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