SACA CEO: Cricket South Africa has caused a 'crisis' by mandating taking a knee

SACA would like the team to adopt a uniform approach for the Black Lives Matter movement, but doesn't want it to be forced

Firdose Moonda
Firdose Moonda
Quinton de Kock sat out of the game against West Indies  •  Sportsfile via Getty Images

Quinton de Kock sat out of the game against West Indies  •  Sportsfile via Getty Images

The South African Cricketers' Association (SACA) would like the national men's team to take a uniform approach to taking a knee but has criticised Cricket South Africa (CSA) for mandating it, and for doing so during a global tournament.
Speaking at the Social Justice and Nation-Building (SJN) hearings, SACA CEO Andrew Breetzke said CSA has caused a "crisis" in the national team after Quinton de Kock sat out of the match against West Indies when he refused to follow the mandate to take a knee. Breetzke is currently "managing" the situation with de Kock.
"My preference would be that there was a uniform approach to taking a knee," Breetzke said. "From a SACA perspective, I would like to see the team take a unified approach to taking a knee, but at the same time I am not going to force anyone to take a knee."
Breetzke said that despite a CSA statement that said the team's different postures in showing anti-racism gestures created "unintended perception of disparity or lack of support for the initiative", the national side has had extensive discussions around the Black Lives Matter movement.
"This team has had more culture and diversity engagement than any other team has had," Breetzke said. "They have had the hard conversations, around diversity, players' understanding of Black Lives Matter, players' understanding of taking a knee and what it means to be in a team with people of different backgrounds."
He was of the opinion that CSA should have held more conversations with the team before the players left for the T20 World Cup and not informed them of the instruction to take a knee five hours before their second group-stage fixture.
"This issue should have been dealt with a while ago and not at an ICC event, where it is a crisis," he said.
While CSA has noted de Kock's decision not to take a knee, they await a report from team management before deciding on future steps. The news from the South African camp is that de Kock remains "very much a part of the Proteas team and has not been sent home as some reports have incorrectly stated", according to a statement sent out on Tuesday morning. de Kock is yet to release a statement but it is "being finalised and will be shared as soon as possible".

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent