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

It’s very unfortunate that the vibrant ICC Women’s Twenty20 World Cup-2021 has been the victim of a rather unneeded controversy. Have any teams ever at international tournaments have a problem with singing their national anthem or any team object to rivals singing their national the anthems? No, it’s the norm in almost all such tournaments across various fields of sports. Therefore, the ‘personal choice phenomenon isn’t mentioned in this case. Then, why this syndrome must be brought up in ‘taking the knee in support of a noble cause? In our school days our instructors commanded us to kneel on numerous occasions clearly to correct our errors and that’s why we are better human beings today. We haven’t even thought of having a vote in the democratic process on those occasions? The Black Lives Matter (BLM) campaign, founded in 2013 as a decentralized social and political movement protesting against instances of police brutality as well as all racially motivated violence against blacks’ the around the globe is fully justified. The movement was not without its ups and downs but following the brutal police murder of black protester George Floyd in the US in the year 2020, it has gained international attention as well as Michael Holding, ex-cricketer of the West Indies, took painstaking efforts to bring it to the world of cricket. Unfortunately for him, his match had witnessed the ugliest instances of racism on quite a few occasions in international cricket, not just for blacks but also the so-called “colored” players.

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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 to show their support for the devil of racism. The ICC has not issued an official instructions for this move however, they made it a voluntary gesture for teams. Cricket South Africa (CSA) is the country which was and was criticized by the world community for many decades for their notorious policies of Apartheid is excellent in making the decision mandatory for their teams before they begin. So, what’s wrong in following that noble gesture and what is the significance of personal decision-making come into crucial international contexts? Team India took the gesture as per instructions from their cricket board, and England also made the gesture in their match against West Indies like most other teams.

The gesture of respect was presented during South Africa’s opening match against Australia but, of course there was no involvement of all players. However, in the end, and more significantly since the game was in the West Indies, South Africa’s key player and opener Quinton de Kock made an issue out about his decision to bend his knee due to personal motives. The player did not just refuse to do so however, he also pulled out of the game within the final minutes which was confirmed by the CSA. This is very troubling due to the fact that de Kock has also been an important player during the Indian Premiere League (IPL) throughout the years, while playing for the Mumbai Indians (the franchise may remove him from the team soon due to the negative impact) that featured a large number of black and colored players. In reality, India is a country of colored people only. What is the reason de Kock never objected to playing for them continuously, as a full-time team player? If his “personal decision” is not to endorse the BLM movement, then it’s an indication of racism, or else de Kock is perhaps a committed supporter of the ‘white supremacy’ idea that has been promoted by the former president of the United States, USA, Donald Trump. We are extremely disappointed by his actions at the World Cup which may ultimately affect his entire cricket career, and South Africa, obviously, would never want to lose such a key player. The CSA must make the final verdict regarding the fate of Quinton de Kock despite some media reports suggest the player has withdrawn from the entire tournament. Others fear that this must become the last time that we have seen him in action.

We hope for an amicable solution for all parties concerned holding the noble cause at the top in respect for the ideals and the principles of Nelson Mandela and suitable punishment for those who are that is found to be a racist. The ICC should, in actual fact, should seize this opportunity to make ‘taking the knee’ a requirement for all teams participating. The Council righteously bans any kind of religious or political gesture and in the pursuit of this noble cause, there should not be any hesitation , nor the principles of democracy.

In the game with the insecure West Indies where the controversy was raging, South Africa won easily, with out de Kock. In other matches Afghanistan in Group-2 registered huge wins against the top team of qualifying Group-B Scotland and even larger than the victory of Pakistan victory over India. Pakistan continue their exciting run of victories by defeating New Zealand, although they had to struggle to chase an extremely low 135 runs. England in Group-1 also have kept their bulldozing ominous progress by beating Bangladesh. They both Pakistan and England seem to be having fun with their luck so as a result of the slow pitches as well as the dew factor that follows later for the bowling side. After creating history by making them to the Super-12 stage for the first time, defeating a well-placed Ireland, Namibia won their first game of the World Cup against Scotland with some comfort in 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 of films, film and video production, management of international film festivals and editing of books & journals. Professionally proficient in providing assistance in these areas. was an officer in the Indian Information Service and superannuated from the position of Director Press Information Bureau, Kolkata in November, 2019. published his first book on his own “Laugh and Let Laugh’ in 2017 and then his sequel The Cheerless Chauffeur and Other Tales’ in 2021.

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