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The South Africa vs England 2020 series is set to begin on November 27, starting with the T20 Internationals. The tour will see South Africa and England play 3 T20Is and 3 ODIs over the next few weeks. Speaking to the press ahead of the series, South Africa’s coach Mark Boucher has revealed that the team will not be taking a knee ahead of the matches, a gesture which has become synonymous with the Black Lives Matter movement worldwide.
South Africa coach Mark Boucher explained that the squad will not be taking a knee during a knee during the South Africa vs England 2020 series. However, the side may consider wearing a black armband as a mark of solidarity against gender-based violence and victims of the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision seems to be in line with the appeal made by South Africa's president Cyril Ramaphosa, who called for five days of national mourning from November 25-29 for the same issues. Subsequently, flags across the country will fly at half-mast during the period.
Notably, South African cricketers and members of the fraternity had pledged their support to the Black Lives Matter movement in July. A total of 24 players and support staff including director of cricket Graeme Smith had taken a knee and worn black armbands during the 3TC game held in July. Now, Mark Boucher has explained the reason behind the change in the team’s stance for the South Africa vs England 2020 series.
Mark Boucher on why SA won't be taking a knee: "I've spoken to the guy who was driving the whole movement, he's pretty happy that we've done what we needed to do. It's not something that we have to continue to show, I think it's something that you have to live." #SAvENG— Scott Taylor 🎙️ (@ScottTaylorUK) November 19, 2020
Boucher revealed that he has already spoken with fast bowler Lungi Ngidi on the same. Notably, it was Lungi Ngidi who sparked the debate on the Black Lives Matter movement in South African cricket, with the pacer asking his team to take a stand while answering a question in the media. Disclosing details of the conversation, Mark Boucher said that Lungi Ngidi is happy with what South Africa cricket did to support the Black Lives Matter movement, particularly during the 3TC game earlier in the year.
Boucher: "If guys who brought it up are happy with it, that's great, but if they feel we have to do more, that will be a chat and that they are open to express their opinions." #SAvENG— Scott Taylor 🎙️ (@ScottTaylorUK) November 19, 2020
Talking about the movement, Mark Boucher expounded that the team is doing its bit within the squad. The 43-year-old talked about a value system with respect, empathy and equality, as he said that each player in the side is respectful of his teammates. While concluding, the coach reiterated that if the guys in support of the movement feel that more needs to be done, the team will have a chat about it and freely express their opinions on the same.
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