Lungi Ngidi has defended his South African teammates, stating that not taking a knee isn't a sign of a divided dressing room. Ngidi was one of the six players from the Proteas' playing XI who took a knee before the start of the first day's play against the West Indies at St.Lucia.
In addition to Lungi Ngidi, Kagiso Rabada, Rassie van der Dussen, Keegan Petersen, Keshav Maharaj, and Kyle Verreynne also joined in to take a knee along with the West Indies players before the start of the game. Proteas skipper Dean Elgar and some other South Africans stood with their right fists raised while Quinton de Kock had his hands behind his back.
After the day's play, Lungi Ngidi defended his teammates for not taking the knee and said as quoted by iol.ca.za:
"We come from a diverse country. It’s not fair for me to speak for other people, everyone’s entitled to their own choices in life. I’ve been very clear on my stance. In terms of the team, there is no division at all. You could see today in the way we were playing - everyone’s happy for everyone - we play for South Africa which is all we are trying to do as players.”
Before the game, West Indies skipper Kraigg Brathwaite had made it clear that everyone from his team would continue to take a knee. Meanwhile, his South African counterpart Dean Elgar stated that every one of their players could make their own choice.
Lungi Ngidi claims his second five-for in Test cricket
South Africa had an encouraging day on the field, dismissing the hosts for a paltry total of 97 in the first innings. Lungi Ngidi was the destroyer-in-chief for the Proteas along with Anrich Nortje. The two fast bowlers picked up nine wickets between them, with Ngidi claiming the second five-wicket haul of his Test career.
"People have seen me bring it back to the right hander, but now I have worked on the one going away and it feels good when it comes out well. I was emotional, have got few four-fers, so it was special for me to get a fifer. It's been a while," Ngidi said as quoted by Cricbuzz.
South Africa have already taken a 31-run lead after finishing the day at 128-4. West Indies are still in the game, thanks to a three-wicket haul from debutant Jayden Seales. Rassie van der Dussen (34) and Quinton de Kock (4) are at the crease for the visitors.
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