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BLM movement – ‘I believe de Kock is committed to an antiracist agenda’

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Says board mandated taking a knee as it is important to send out right message “to the South African public and the broader global community”

Cricket South Africa believes that Quinton de Kock is “committed to an antiracist agenda” along with the rest of the squad, but wanted uniform conduct and messaging from the team at the Men’s T20 World Cup. That is what led to the board issuing a directive on Tuesday morning that the entire touring party must take a knee before each game, according to chairperson Lawson Naidoo. de Kock was the only person who did not comply and withdrew from the match against West Indies.

Speaking on a podcast Eusebius on TimesLive , Naidoo explained that CSA wants its team to be seen acting out antiracism in public. “The issue is not about questioning the commitment of any of the players towards combating racism but it is about the conduct they display and the messages that sends out to the South African public and the broader global community during a world event,” Naidoo said. “We expect South Africans to be leading the world globally on [this topic], given our particular history and the particular circumstances that have prevailed in South Africa. It’s a position where South Africa should be a leader, not a follower.”

While Naidoo could provide no further clarity on whether de Kock will participate in the rest of the tournament as he awaits a team management report, he cautioned against knee-jerk reactions to de Kock’s refusal to take a knee. “I believe Quinny is committed to an antiracist agenda, the depth of his conviction is something you will have to ask him about. From the team environment, I don’t think this is about anybody not wanting to contribute to the fight against racism,” he said. “As for the consequences for Quinny – we’ll have to see when we get a report from team management.”

What is certain is that CSA will not back down from their instruction after Naidoo detailed how the board took the decision to make it obligatory for the team to take a knee after they saw visuals of the team’s opening game. “The visual images that emerged from the weekend’s game against Australia demonstrated a team that came across as being disjointed and disorganised, as not really on the same level as each other, and that’s something to be corrected,” Naidoo said. “There is no suggestion that any of the players is not committed to the fight against racism but it’s how they demonstrate it that’s important.

“Cricket is the second most watched sport in the world. Our players, as leaders in that field, need to take the responsibility and see their bigger responsibility towards society as a whole, and towards their team-mates and to be able to find each other, even if they are not fully committed to the decisions being taken, in the interests of the team. That’s what team spirit is all about.”

He admitted that CSA did not consult with the team on the day it issued the directive but pointed out that discussions have been ongoing since last November, when South Africa hosted England and decided not to take a knee. “We didn’t consult with the team.There were reports that the team had continued discussing this matter and were unable to arrive at a consensus position that they could all agree to,” Naidoo said. “There have been ongoing discussions around this for some time. It’s not as though this has come out of the blue.

“There have been discussions, culture camps and discussion forums within the team environment. The team has been unable to resolve this matter internally. We need to resist the temptation of overcomplicating what is a very simple issue of taking a stand against racism and asking people to replicate what is happening in other sports codes, in other parts of the world and a position that has been adopted by several other teams.”

Asked if the gesture would be more powerful if it was done voluntarily rather than under instruction, Naidoo conceded the point, but said that he hopes the directive will lead to the introspection that will make taking a knee genuine. “Voluntarism would have been the ideal situation. That’s why we allowed the players the time and the space to try and come to that conclusion themselves. They were unable to do so and therefore it was necessary for the board to make this intervention. It was a tough decision that needed to be taken and one that the board unanimously agreed on.

“I have a certain level of cynicism about this gesture [becoming meaningless] going forward, [but] knowing the context of it, that is why it was important for us to make it absolutely clear, for the board to stand up and say that we have issued this directive and we expect the players to abide by it, which they have done. The longer term and the other side of this is that the image it represents across the world is one that will hopefully grow within the team environment and allow that real culture and commitment to develop on the understanding that this is the right thing to do.”

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent



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BBL11 2021-22 – Bowling attack gives Melbourne Renegades hope of revival

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The batting remains questionable and they will be looking for the youngsters to develop

Captain Nic Maddinson
Coach David Saker

Squad
Cameron Boyce, Zak Evans, Aaron Finch, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Sam Harper, Marcus Harris, Mackenzie Harvey, Josh Lalor, Shaun Marsh, Jono Merlo (replacement player), James Pattinson, Mitch Perry, Jack Prestwidge, Kane Richardson, James Seymour (replacement player), Will Sutherland, Nic Maddinson, Reece Topley (Eng), Unmukt Chand (Ind), Mohammad Nabi (Afg), Zahir Khan (Afg)

In Nic Maddinson, Jono Merlo, James Seymour, Reece Topley, Unmukt Chand, Zahir Khan
Out Beau Webster, Peter Hazloglou, Jon Holland, Benny, Howell, Noor Ahmed, Imran Tahir, Imad Wasim

Last season

It was another disastrous season for the Renegades finishing last for the second straight year. They won their first match and then lost seven in a row. Their batting was abysmal, bowled out for less than 90 on three occasions and 111 in another match against Adelaide. The bowling was nowhere near as effective as season’s past and they struggled to find a consistent unit as they mixed and matched their overseas players. There was one bright spot as they produced a brilliant chasing win over Melbourne Stars late in the season. Mackenzie Harvey starred smashing 47 not out from 21 balls to give a glimpse into the future.
International impact
Renegades have been severely impacted by both Australia selection and injury. Nic Maddinson‘s selection in the Australia A side to face England Lions means the new Renegades captain won’t get a chance to lead his new club until their fourth game at the earliest. Marcus Harris is set to miss most of the season due to Test duty. Aaron Finch is in doubt for the early games due to his ongoing knee issue while Shaun Marsh is set to miss at least half the tournament due to a calf tear. England does have tour of West Indies in the new year and Afghanistan is scheduled to visit Bangladesh but it is unknown if the likes of Reece Topley, Mohammad Nabi or Zahir Khan will need to leave the BBL early.
Player to watch
Reece Topley is an important recruit for Renegades and has a chance to make a serious statement to England selectors ahead of the T20 World Cup in Australia next year. Fellow Englishman Harry Gurney was a key part of Renegades’ run to the title three years ago and Topley has a similar opportunity to cause havoc on the inconsistent home surface of Marvel Stadium.

Key stat (Gaurav Sundararaman)
Renegades were the worst bowling unit in the previous BBL edition. Their bowling economy rate of 8.61 was the highest among all teams and their death bowling economy was 11.24. If Renegades want to play finals, this is an area they need to focus on. Their attack certainly looks stronger this season

Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo



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Chris Gayle farewell on the cards with Jamaica set to host West Indies-Ireland series

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The series will comprise three ODIs and a one-off T20I, all at Sabina Park

West Indies will play three ODIs and a T20I against Ireland in Jamaica from January 8 to 16, the CWI has announced, with the possibility that the standalone T20I will be used as a farewell match for Chris Gayle.

While Gayle will not be part of the ODI squad, with the series counting towards 2023 World Cup qualification through the Super League, the one-off fixture at Sabina Park could be used as his farewell game. ESPNcricinfo understands that a decision has yet to be made on Gayle’s inclusion but that the issue will be up for discussion at the next meeting of CWI’s board of directors later this month.

“It’s whether collectively we all feel that it’s appropriate for him to have one last game at home to say farewell in a one-off game,” Johnny Grave, CWI’s chief executive, told the Mason and Guest radio show in Barbados last month. “That Ireland series would represent that opportunity.

“It would certainly be appropriate, as far as I can see it, to treat our players and give them the opportunity to bow out – especially players like Chris who have had unbelievable careers and won trophies for the West Indies.”

Ireland will travel to the Caribbean on December 31, immediately after their series against USA which starts on December 22 and comprises two T20Is and three ODIs. They have already named their squads for both tours, with Kevin O’Brien left out and David Ripley taking temporary charge as interim head coach.
Ireland last toured the Caribbean in 2020, drawing the T20I series 1-1 and losing the ODI series 3-0. Sabina Park was also the venue for one of the finest moments in Irish cricketing history, their victory over Pakistan in the 2007 World Cup on St Patrick’s Day.

“We are pleased to be returning to the Caribbean where we have so many great memories,” Richard Holdsworth, Cricket Ireland’s performance director, said. “The World Cup Super League is a crucial set of fixtures for Ireland as we attempt to qualify for the next Cricket World Cup, and – if the series in 2020 is anything to go by – we look forward to a highly competitive series in January.”

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98



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Bangladesh tour of NZ BCB approves Shakib Al Hasan’s request to skip New Zealand tour

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Nazmul Hassan says BCB has no problem with players wanting a break, but says it should happen via official channels

BCB president Nazmul Hassan said on Monday that the board has accepted Shakib Al Hasan‘s leave request to skip the New Zealand tour for which Bangladesh are scheduled to leave later this week. Some days ago, Hassan claimed that Shakib only informed them “unofficially” of his reluctance to be on the tour, and hours later, Shakib reportedly had requested the board by handing over a letter officially.

“We have accepted his request,” Hassan said. “We have been saying this for a long time that we have no objection if a player wants to take a break or rest, but it has to be informed officially. The thing is, we want to be informed about such a decision in advance as it is difficult for us if it is informed suddenly. From January, if anyone wants a break, he has to inform us in advance so that we can prepare alternatives.”

This is the third time in 2021 that Shakib has skipped a tour for Bangladesh. He opted out of the white-ball tour of New Zealand in March due to paternity leave before missing the two Tests against Sri Lanka in April to play in the IPL.

Hassan felt Shakib should have asked for the leave officially, rather than informing them verbally.

“This [the confusion] is not embarrassing, to be honest. We simply didn’t know about it, officially,” Hassan said. “The thing is, these things have always happened unofficially. Now, to avoid confusion, we are emphasising that these matters should be official.”

Bangladesh’s tour of New Zealand includes two Tests, part of the World Test Championship, beginning on New Year’s Day. The team will leave on December 9 to complete quarantine and then play practice matches.



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