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Bavuma Says Proteas Will Make ‘Collective’ Decision On Taking The Knee Going Forward

South African batsman Temba Bavuma takes a knee for Black Lives Matter movement Gareth Copley-ICC/ Getty Images

Proteas captain Temba Bavuma says that his side will need to discuss and make a “collective” decision on whether they will continue to take the knee for the remainder of the summer.

Bavuma’s side were instructed by Cricket South Africa (CSA) hours before their second T20 World Cup match against the West Indies to take the knee throughout the tournament to show solidarity in the fight against racism.

It resulted in Quinton de Kock’s sudden withdrawal from the match after refusing to take the knee.

Later on, Bavuma had put himself in the firing line of reporters and despite SA winning the game, the Proteas skipper fielded questions mainly surrounding De Kock’s decision.

De Kock apologised two days later and joined the rest of the team in making a stand for the following three Proteas games.

After bowing out of the T20 World Cup campaign due to net run-rate, the Proteas returned home with the focus quickly shifting to a three ODI series against the Netherlands and an all format series against India at home.

‘We haven’t spoke yet’

There is no indication from CSA whether the gesture will continue during the busy summer with Bavuma stating on Tuesday that the conversation still needs to happen.

“Originally, the team would take the opportunity to show their gesture in their own way, and things obviously changed at the World Cup. We haven’t spoken yet and we have to get together soon,” Bavuma told reporters.

“We’ll have to bring Dean Elgar (Test captain) into the conversation too and see how we’re going to go forward. The conversation needs to happen and I would assume all key role players would be involved in that decision like the team, board and Graeme Smith.”

‘Going forward the decision must be a collective one, we want to avoid a situation where things are being dictated or instructed towards the players.’
Temba Bavuma

Bavuma insisted that the gesture should be about how people internalise the Black Lives Matter movement.

“The important thing for me is how does this translate to our every day, that’s the cream on top for me,” said Bavuma.

“We can all go out there and raise our fists or go on our knee but if deep down in the heart you’re not for the cause and what it stands for and it doesn’t show in everyday behaviour, then it brings into question the authenticity.”

Bavuma added that the Black Lives Matter pressure on CSA and the team has been “unfair” but hopes a collective decision will be taken on their stance against racism.

“As a South African cricket side, we’ve been put under immense pressure around this topic more than any other local or international team – for whatever reason that may be,” said Bavuma.

“The work and effort that goes behind the scenes, not a lot of attention or acknowledgement has been given to the team. Probably because people from the outside don’t get to see or hear our conversations.

“The pressure mounting on us is a bit unfair. Going forward the decision must be a collective one, we want to avoid a situation where things are being dictated or instructed towards the players. We want to avoid that and let it be a collective well.

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