The England wicketkeeper-batsman, while addressing a virtual media conference on the eve of his team’s clash against Bangladesh on Wednesday, was aware of the goings-on in Dubai, where South Africa‘s Quinton de Kock had pulled out of the contest against West Indies after not agreeing to Cricket South Africa‘s diktat of all the players taking a knee to voice their protest against racism.
“Yeah, I think our position as a team is we stand against any form of discrimination. What we would like to do as a team is take a moment of unity which we did at times during our summer. We all need to reciprocate the opposition. West Indies like to take a knee, so we wanted to reciprocate that in the first game.”
When asked if it will differ match to match, Buttler stated, “Hopefully we can make some form at the start. But as a side and our culture as a team, we of course stand against any form of discrimination and we are very passionate about that.”
Taking the knee, an anti-racism gesture, has divided the sporting world. Many do it, some oppose it. De Kock’s decision will only add fuel to the fire. Representing a country that has emerged out of an Apartheid past, he should perhaps have been more sympathetic to the idea of taking the knee like his other colleagues.
Buttler felt that the England team will need to take a clearance from the ICC for their ‘moment of unity’ gesture but was not sure what form or shape it would take. “I think it’s something we’d like to do as a team.
I think you must get some clearance from the ICC for that, as well. It’s something we would like to do as a team, but I don’t know the specifics behind it now.”
The England star was unsure if cricket boards around the world should exercise the power to issue diktats to the players about making socio-political statements. “I’m not sure to be honest. I can only speak about myself and our team. I think it’s (protesting against racism) something we feel strongly about. It’s an important part of our culture as a team.”