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There are NO racists in Proteas squad insists Keshav Maharaj

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Oct 30, 2021

Proteas spinner Keshav Maharaj insists “no one is a racist within our team” as they welcomed back Quinton de Kock following the wicketkeeper-batter’s apology for his refusal to take the knee.

READ | WHO IS QUINTON DE KOCK? 10 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE PROTEAS WICKETKEEPER-BATSMAN

De Kock caused a stir when he withdrew from the Proteas’ T20 World Cup match against the West Indies, rebuffing a directive from the board for all players to take part in the anti-racism gesture during the rest of the tournament.

In a lengthy statement, De Kock insisted he was “not racist” and explained his stance came from feeling his “rights were taken away”, but he has had a change of heart on taking the knee after clear-the-air talks with the board.

READ | ‘I CANNOT SHED MY SKIN’ – POMMIE MBANGWA’S MESSAGE TO QUINTON DE KOCK

Keshav Maharaj admitted it has been a challenging week, but the slow left-armer was adamant the group are in harmony.

“We all support one another and respect everyone’s cultural, religious and spiritual differences,” Maharaj said.

“I am a very religious person, so I know you’ve got to be accepting of a lot of things, and we respect that.

“No one is a racist within our team. We’re all in the team in a good space at the moment. It’s been a tough week, but I think it’s drawn us together and we’ve drawn some strength and inspiration from this.

“The boys are mature enough and adult enough to sort of adapt to the situation. I think the spirits were really high at training (on Friday).

“There’s that buzz and that drive that’s back into the team after quite a long two days. But yeah, I think the boys are in good stead, and our focus is back on the cricket for now.”

READ | QUINTON DE KOCK TO BE A FATHER IN EARLY 2022 – CONGRATULATIONS!

In De Kock’s absence, the Proteas overcame the Windies, bouncing back from defeat to Australia in their Super 12s group opener, while a win over Sri Lanka in Sharjah on Saturday will boost their hopes of reaching the semi-finals.

De Kock, an ex-Proteas captain who has played 53 Tests, 124 one-dayers and 58 T20s, is rated one of his country’s top performers.

PICTURES | QUINTON DE KOCK GOES FISHING – LANDS THREE MONSTERS!

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