South Africa hold crisis talks over Quinton de Kock knee gesture absence

Despite speculation that he has already been sent home from the Twenty20 World Cup for refusing to take the knee before their match against West Indies on Tuesday, Quinton de Kock remains with South Africa’s squad in the United Arab Emirates, though his future at the competition remains uncertain.

South Africa have the benefit of a few days to prepare for their next game, against Sri Lanka on Saturday, when their players will again be expected to take the knee. Though the emerging controversy did not appear to distract them as they beat West Indies by eight wickets in Dubai on Tuesday it will not simply go away, at least until De Kock himself does.

A source confirmed to the Guardian that a series of meetings were taking place on Wednesday as Cricket South Africa sought to establish the best course of action. For now De Kock, who at 28 is second on South Africa’s list of all-time Twenty20 international run-scorers and one of the key members of their team, is being fully included in their preparations for the Sri Lanka game and beyond.

De Kock was replaced in the line-up against the West Indies by Reeza Hendricks, with Heinrich Klaasen taking on the wicketkeeping role as South Africa bounced back from Saturday’s loss to claim their first win of the tournament.

After the match, Temba Bavuma, South Africa’s first permanent black captain, said: “As a team we’re obviously surprised and taken aback by the news. Quinton is a big player for the team, not just with the bat, but the role he plays from a senior point of view, and not having that at my disposal as a captain was something I wasn’t looking forward to.

“In saying that, Quinton is an adult. He’s a man in his own shoes. We respect his decision. We respect his convictions. I know that he’ll be standing behind whatever decision that he’s taken.”

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