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

It’s a shame that the vibrant ICC men’s T20 world Cup-2021 should get involved in a completely unnecessary controversy. Have any teams ever at international competitions oppose performing their national anthem? Or any team opposes their opponents singing their national songs? Definitely not, it’s being a celebrated customs in almost all tournaments in various sports. So, the ‘personal decision syndrome is not mentioned in this case. Why then, this phenomenon must be brought up by ‘kneeling down’ for a most noble cause? In our school days our instructors commanded us to kneel every time and, evidently, to correct our faults and that’s why we’re better human beings today. For more detail please visit:-
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We haven’t even thought of making a decision in our democracy in those instances? There is a Black Lives Matter (BLM) protest movement that was founded in 2013 ‘as a decentralized social and political movement protesting against the use of force by police and all racially-motivated violence against blacks’ all over the world is completely justified. The movement has had its ups and downs but after the brutal police killing of a black protester George Floyd in the US in 2020 , the movement has gained international attention and Michael Holding, ex-cricketer of the West Indies, took painstaking efforts to bring it into the field of cricket. Unfortunately, this gentleman’s game had witnessed the ugly expressions of racism several times in international cricket, and not exclusively involving blacks but also the so-called “colored’ players.

We have witnessed in the majority of the matches so far in the current World Cup teams taking the knee prior to the beginning of each match in solidarity with the scourge of racism. The ICC has not issued any formal directive regarding this action however, they made it a voluntary gesture for the teams. Cricket South Africa (CSA) one of the countries that has been condemned by the international community for years for their notorious policy of the Apartheid is an example in making this move mandatory for their team prior to the start of the season. So, what’s wrong in taking this noble step and what is the significance of personal choice play into crucial international contexts? Team India was also able to take the gesture according to instructions by their board of cricket and England did the same in their match against West Indies like most other teams.

The admirable gesture was presented during South Africa’s opening match against Australia; of course, not involving all the players. However, suddenly and perhaps most importantly since the game was played in the West Indies, South Africa’s most important opener and wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock took an issue out the issue, claiming that he was unable to bend his knee in personal reasons. The player did not just refuse to perform the gesture, but also withdrew from the game within the last moments, which was confirmed the CSA. This is extremely disturbing, because de Kock has also been a key cricketer within the Indian Premiere League (IPL) for years, playing for the Mumbai Indians (the franchise may let him go soon due the negative impact) which included a number of black and ‘colored’ players. In actual fact, India is a country of colored people only. What is the reason de Kock never objected to playing for them continuously, as a team player? If his ‘personal choice’ is not to be a part of the BLM movement, then it’s an indication of racism, or else de Kock is perhaps a unwavering supporter of the “white supremacy’ theory so bullishly advocated by the former President of the USA, Donald Trump. We strongly condemn his behavior at this World Cup which may ultimately have a negative impact on his cricket career, and South Africa, obviously, would not wish to lose a major player. The CSA must give the final judgment about the status of Quinton de Kock even as there are reports that suggest the player has been withdrawn from the entire tournament. Other reports fear that this must mark the final time we’ve seen de Kock in action.

We are hoping for a peaceful solution for all the stakeholders who are concerned about keeping the noble cause in high esteem, respecting the ideals and the movement that was the work of Nelson Mandela and suitable punishment for those who are guilty of being an agressor. The ICC, in fact, should use this chance to make the ‘taking the knee’ an obligatory gesture for all teams that participate. The Council has the right to ban any type of political or religious gestures, but in upholding this noble cause there cannot be any hesitation , nor the principles of democracy.

In the match between the insecure West Indies where the controversy was raging, South Africa won easily, without de Kock. The other match Afghanistan in Group-2 registered a huge victory over the topper of the qualifying Group-B Scotland that was bigger than that of Pakistan’s defeat of India. Pakistan continue to enjoy a flurry of victories by defeating New Zealand, although they faced a challenge to attain an extremely low 135 runs. England in Group-1 continue to keep their unsettling bulldozing for the duration by defeating Bangladesh. They both Pakistan and England seem to be having fun with their luck so in the context of the slower pitches as well as the dew factor for the bowling team. After making history by making them to the Super-12 stage for the first time, defeating a well-placed Ireland, Namibia won their first game in the World Cup against Scotland with the comfort of Group 2.

Chinmay Chakravarty is a professional specialized in the creative field with more than two years of experience in journalism, writing, media coordination and film script writing dubbing of films, film and video making, the management of international film festivals as well as editing journals and books. Proficient in providing professional services in these areas. Awarded the rank of officer to the Indian Information Service and superannuated from the position of Director Press Information Bureau, Kolkata in November, 2019. The first book he wrote for himself was ‘Laugh and Let Laugh’ in 2017 and his sequel ‘The Cheerless Chauffeur and Other Tales 2021.

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