Fight Racism Unitedly, No Knee-Jerk Kockish Controversy Please!

It is very unfortunate that the exciting ICC Men’s T20 World Cup-2021 has been subject to a totally insignificant controversy. Has any team ever participated in international competitions have a problem with the national anthem being sung? Or did any team object to their rivals singing their national anthems? No, it’s popular in almost all such tournaments across various fields of sport. Thus, the “personal choice phenomenon isn’t mentioned here. What is the reason this issue should be so prevalent in the ‘taking knees in support of a noble cause? In our school days our instructors commanded us to kneel down on innumerable occasions, obviously to correct our faults, which is why we’re better human beings today. Do we even consider taking a democratic decision on those occasions? In the end, it’s clear that Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, founded in 2013 ‘as a decentralized political and social movement protesting against police brutality and all racially-motivated violence against blacks’ the worldwide, is a legitimate cause. The movement was not without its ups and downs, but following the brutal police killing of a protester of color George Floyd in the US in 2020 , it become a global phenomenon, and Michael Holding, ex-cricketer of the West Indies, took painstaking efforts to bring it in the arena of cricket. Unfortunately, the gentleman’s game was marred by the brutal expressions of racism in a variety of instances in international cricket. This is not exclusively involving blacks but also the ‘colored’ players.

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In the majority of the games so far in this World Cup teams taking the knee before the start to show their solidarity with the injustice of racism. The ICC had not issued any specific instructions regarding this gesture however, they made it a voluntary gesture for the teams. Cricket South Africa (CSA) is a country boycotted by the international community for years due to their notorious policy of the Apartheid, has been an example in making this move mandatory for their team prior to the start of the season. What’s wrong with doing this noble gesture? And what is the significance of personal preference play into these internationally relevant issues? Team India was also able to take the gesture according to instructions given by the cricket board and England made the same gesture during their match against West Indies like most other teams.

The gesture was done during South Africa’s first match against Australia; of course it wasn’t involving all players. However, suddenly and perhaps most importantly since the game was with the West Indies, South Africa’s key opening batsman and wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock made an issue of the issue, claiming that he was unable to bend his knee for personal motives. The player did not just refuse to bend his knee however, he also pulled out of the match within the last minutes . This was confirmed by the CSA. This is quite troubling, since de Kock has also been an important player during the Indian Premiere League (IPL) for a long time, playing for Mumbai Indians. Mumbai Indians (the franchise may remove him from the team soon due to the impact) which included a number of black and ‘colored’ players. In fact, India is a country with a majority of people who are colored. Then, why has de Kock never objected to playing continuously with them, as a key player? If his “personal choice” isn’t to support the BLM movement, then it is a sign of racism, or de Kock is perhaps a committed supporter of the ‘white supremacy’ notion that is advocated by the former President of the United States, USA, Donald Trump. We have a strong resentment of his conduct at this World Cup which may ultimately negatively impact his entire playing career. South Africa, obviously, would not wish to lose such a crucial player. The CSA must give the final verdict on his future Quinton de Kock, even though there are reports that suggest the player has withdrawn from the entire tournament while others fear that this must the last time we had seen him in action.

We would like to see a mutually acceptable solution for all parties involved in the noble cause in high esteem in respect for the ideals and the movements by Nelson Mandela and suitable punishment any person who is deemed to be an agressor. The ICC is, in fact, should take this opportunity to make the ‘taking the knee’ an obligatory gesture for all participating teams. The Council righteously bans any kind of political or religious gestures while in supporting this noble cause, there must not be any doubt or the principles of democratic decisions.

In the game in the match against difficult West Indies where the controversy had erupted South Africa won easily, with no de Kock. The other match Afghanistan was able to record an impressive win over the top of the qualifying Group-B Scotland and even larger than Pakistan’s win defeat of India. Pakistan continue their thrilling run of success by beating New Zealand, although they had to fight to achieve an unattainable target that was 135 runs. England in Group-1 continue to keep their fearsome bulldozing for the duration by defeating Bangladesh. In both cases, Pakistan and England seem to be enjoying their toss-luck so that they can tell the result of the slow pitches as well as the dew factor later on for the bowling team. After making history by making them to the Super-12 stage for the first time, taking on a highly-placed Ireland, Namibia won their first game during the World Cup against Scotland with the comfort of Group 2.

Chinmay Chakravarty is a professional skilled in the field of art and design with over 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 and editing journals and books. Professionally trained in providing professional services in these fields. Awarded the rank of officer to the Indian Information Service and superannuated from the position of Director Press Information Bureau, Kolkata in November, 2019. He published his first solo book “Laugh and Let Laugh’ in 2017 and his second book ‘The Cheerless Chauffeur and Other Tales’ in 2021.

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