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Sunday, December 05, 2021

Team India don’t take a knee but stick to ‘no scope for racism’ stand

New Zealand players took the knee, while two Indian openers, KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan, remained standing at the crease.

Written by Shamik Chakrabarty | Dubai |
Updated: November 1, 2021 9:14:11 am
The International Cricket Council offered all teams at the ongoing tournament the opportunity to take the knee if they wished.

India ditched the knee, but asserted that their stance against racism and discrimination remained unshakable.

After the toss, as the match was about to begin at Dubai International Stadium on Sunday, New Zealand players took the knee, while two Indian openers, KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan, remained standing at the crease. Their teammates, too, stayed put in the dug-out. The ‘non-gesture’ offered inconsistency, for India had taken the knee to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement in their T20 World Cup opener against Pakistan.

The team asserted that their stance against racism has been well-documented. “The Indian cricket team took a knee during their opening game of the (T20) World Cup and its stance against racism was well registered and documented. There’s no scope for racism or any form of discriminatory behaviour in sport,” a source close to the team told The Indian Express.

The International Cricket Council offered all teams at the ongoing tournament the opportunity to take the knee if they wished. Accordingly, the majority of the participating teams have been taking the knee before their matches. Cricket South Africa has made it mandatory for its players to follow the gesture to offer a “united and consistent stance against racism”. So there was uproar when former South Africa captain Quinton de Kock refused to follow the CSA directive and opted out of the game against the West Indies, citing personal reasons.

The South African board didn’t take any disciplinary action against de Kock, giving him the chance to change his stance instead. A moving, three-page mea culpa from the player duly followed in which the wicketkeeper-batsman wrote: “I am deeply sorry for all the hurt, confusion and anger that I have caused. I won’t lie, I was shocked that we were told on the way to an important match that there was an instruction that we had to follow, with a perceived ‘or else’. I don’t think I was the only one.”

His apology also read: “For me, Black lives have mattered since I was born. Not just because there was an international movement. I didn’t understand why I had to prove it with a gesture when I live, and learn, and love people from all walks of life every day.”

De Kock returned to the playing eleven in South Africa’s next game against Sri Lanka and took a knee.

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