It’s very unfortunate that the vibrant ICC men’s T20 world Cup-2021 is subject to a totally irrelevant controversy. Has any team ever participated in international tournaments object to singing their national anthem or any team object to rivals singing their national hymns? No, it’s an established custom at almost all such tournaments across various fields of sport. Thus, the “personal choice syndrome is not mentioned here. So, what is it that this problem is able to be mentioned by ‘taking a knee to support a noble cause? In our school days our instructors commanded us to kneel at times and, evidently, to correct our errors which is the reason we’re better human beings today. Have we ever thought about making a decision in our democracy on those occasions? There is a Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement that was founded in 2013 ‘as a decentralized social and political movement protesting against police brutality and all violence motivated by race against blacks’ all over the world is completely justified. It has experienced its downs and ups, however, following the brutal police shooting of black protester George Floyd in the US in the year 2020, it has become a global phenomenon, and Michael Holding, ex-cricketer of the West Indies, took painstaking efforts to bring it into the cricket arena-unfortunately this gentleman’s match had witnessed the ugly expressions of racism several times in international cricket. This is not exclusively involving blacks but also the ‘colored’ players.
In the majority of the games played so far during the current World Cup teams taking the knee prior to the beginning of each match to express their solidarity against the evil of racism. The ICC had not issued any specific instructions regarding this gesture, but made it voluntary for the teams. Cricket South Africa (CSA) is the country which was boycotted by the world community for many several years because of their notorious policy of Apartheid and has shown exceptional in making this decision mandatory for their teams prior to the beginning of the season. So, what’s wrong with taking this step? And what exactly is it that makes personal choice play into global issues? Team India had also taken the gesture as per instructions from their cricket board and England also expressed the gesture during their match against the West Indies like most other teams.
The noble gesture was also performed during South Africa’s opener match against Australia; of course it was not made by all players. But suddenly and most significantly given that the match was to be played against West Indies, South Africa’s main bowler and wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock raised an issue out it, calling his refusal to kneel due to personal reasons. Not only did he refuse to do so but he also walked out of the match in the last minutes which was confirmed by the CSA. This is quite troubling, because de Kock has also been an integral player in the Indian Premiere League (IPL) for years, playing for India’s Mumbai Indians (the franchise may remove him from the team soon due to the impact) which featured a large number of black and ‘colored’ players. In fact, India is a country made up of white people. Why then has de Kock never objected to playing for them continuously, as a full-time team member? If his “personal decision” is not to endorse the BLM movement, then it’s a sign of racism, or de Kock is perhaps a committed supporter of the ‘white supremacy’ notion that is propagated by the former President of USA, Donald Trump. We are extremely disappointed by his actions at the World Cup which may ultimately negatively impact his entire career in cricket, and South Africa, obviously, would never want to lose such a key player. The CSA will have to make its final decision regarding Quinton de Kock’s future. Quinton de Kock even as some reports indicate that the player is withdrawn from the entire tournament while others are concerned that this might be mark the final time we’ve seen de Kock in action.
We are hoping for a peaceful solution for all parties concerned holding the noble cause up, respecting the ideals and the work that was the work of Nelson Mandela and suitable punishment any person who is deemed to be racist. The ICC is, in fact, should use this opportunity to make the “taking the knee’ an obligatory gesture for all teams involved. The Council righteously bans any kind of religious or political actions however, in defending this noble cause, there should not be any hesitation or the principles of democracy.
In the game against the insecure West Indies where the controversy had erupted South Africa won easily, without de Kock. In other matches Afghanistan in Group 2 won an enormous win against the top team of qualifying Group-B Scotland, even bigger than that of Pakistan’s over India. Pakistan continue their thrilling run of victories by defeating New Zealand, although they faced a challenge to attain an unattainable target at 135 runs. England in Group-1 are also keeping their ominous bulldozing act in for the duration by defeating Bangladesh. Both Pakistan and England seem to be enjoying their toss-luck thus in the context of the slow pitches as well as the dew factor that follows later for the bowling team. After making history by making an appearance at the Super-12 stage for the first time beating a highly-ranked Ireland, Namibia won their first game during the World Cup against Scotland with an ease in Group 2.
Chinmay Chakravarty is a professional specialized in the creative field with more than two years of experience in journalism, writing, media co-ordination, film script writing dubbing films and film and video production as well as the management of international film festivals, as well as editing journals and books. Proficient in providing professional services in these related fields. Awarded the rank of officer to the Indian Information Service and superannuated from the position of Director, Press Information Bureau, Kolkata in Novemberof 2019. He published his first solo book “Laugh and Let Laugh’ in 2017. His second book “The Cheerless Driver and Other Tales in 2021.