This is how the Quinton de Kock taking-the-knee controversy played out

Earlier this week South African cricket player Quinton de Kock refused to take the knee in a Twenty20 World Cup match that brewed up a storm in the cricket world.

FILE: South African ODI captain Quinton de Kock addresses a press conference ahead of tomorrow's first one-day international (ODI) cricket match of a three-match series between India and South Africa, at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharamsala on 11 March 2020. Picture: AFP

DUBAI - South African cricket star Quinton de Kock on Thursday apologised for his refusal to take the knee in a Twenty20 World Cup match that brewed up a storm in the cricket world.

AFP sport takes a look at the sequence of events surrounding the momentous decision and what followed.

BAVUMA AT THE TOSS

Captain Temba Bavuma said De Kock had opted out of the team's match against holders West Indies on Tuesday due to "personal reasons".

READ: De Kock opts out as South Africa bowl against West Indies in T20 World Cup

De Kock's decision came after Cricket South Africa (CSA) ordered the players to take the knee in support of anti-racism.

Reeza Hendricks replaced him in the team, with Heinrich Klaasen performing the wicketkeeping duties.

CRICKET SOUTH AFRICA STATEMENT

The country's cricket board soon sent out a statement saying they had "noted the personal decision by South African wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock not to take the knee" ahead of Tuesday's match.

"The Board will await a further report from team management before deciding on the next steps. All players are expected to follow this directive (to take the knee) for the remaining games of the World Cup," the statement added.

READ: ‘All players are expected to follow knee directive’: CSA on De Kock opting out

South Africa went on to win their match against the West Indies by eight-wickets.

BAVUMA'S 'TOUGHEST' DAY

Bavuma, the national cricket team's first black African captain, said de Kock's decision came as a "surprise" to the team.

Bavuma revealed the board's directive came on the morning of the match and he was apprised of De Kock's decision in the team bus en route to the stadium.

He said the day was the "toughest" thus far of his captaincy having succeeded de Kock as one day skipper in August.

CRICKET WORLD DIVIDED

Former cricketers turned pundits came out with their take on the De Kock saga that many believed had more to it than just taking the knee.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan said: "Surely it's down to the individual to decide whether he or she wants to be involved in any movement," and the board should not stop the person from playing cricket.

Former West Indies captain Darren Sammy said: "Sometimes I don't understand why is it so difficult to support this movement if you understand what it stands for."

READ: De Kock's refusal to take knee mystifies country

THE APOLOGY

De Kock finally came out with an apology on Thursday morning to settle matters and inform everyone he will be "happy" to take the knee along with his team-mates.

READ: Proteas' Quinton de Kock apologises for refusing to follow CSA's knee directive

De Kock said he was "deeply sorry for all the hurt, confusion and anger" that he has caused.

He explained he came from a mixed-race family, with his half-sisters being coloured and his stepmother is black.

The board welcomed his decision and admitted "the timing" of their directive on taking the knee could have been better as it unsettled a lot of players.

READ: CSA Board regrets the timing of its 'take the knee' directive

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