Quinton de Kock dedicates ton to friend who lost his finger in Afghanistan and rhino conservation

Quinton de Kock makes a hand gesture after completing his sixth Test ton. Pic: CSA/ Twitter
Quinton de Kock makes a hand gesture after completing his sixth Test ton. Pic: CSA/ Twitter

Quinton de Kock, who returned to form in Tests with an unbeaten 141 at St Lucia, dedicated his knock to a friend who lost his finger in Afghanistan as well as to rhino conservation in South Africa.

De Kock, who had a highest score of 39 in his previous seven Test innings, roared back to form with a sizzling hundred on Day 2 of the first Test against West Indies. The left-hander celebrated both his half-century and his hundred with a hand gesture.

He held the ring finger of his right hand down with his thumb and spread the other three fingers. Quinton de Kock also held his willow up horizontally, so that the name Rockwood displayed on his bat could be seen prominently. Rockwood is an organization fighting to save the endangered rhino.

Explaining his gestures while speaking to the host broadcaster, Quinton de Kock said:

"It's just a friend group I have back home. A couple people know I am doing this initiative with the rhino thing and one of my friends got his fingers shot off in Afghanistan, and I said I will salute to him."

At a press conference, the wicketkeeper-batsman elaborated on how he is involved with rhino conservation. Quinton de Kock revealed:

"I am doing Rockwood and the rhino conservation and it's a whole group of us. The one night we had a braai and we started talking and I said his finger being shot off is quite a limelight in our group of friends so I said I will do that as an accolade for him. I couldn't believe it happened first time. I am sure my phone with the boys' group is going to be buzzing."

Break didn't have anything to do with captaincy: Quinton de Kock

Quinton de Kock had a challenging time last season. He was asked to lead South Africa in all formats of the sport, and his form wasn’t too consistent. He was then given a break for the domestic T20 tournament.

Opening up on the relief given to him, the 28-year-old clarified that it had nothing to do with the captaincy and was instead due to bio-bubble fatigue. Quinton de Kock added:

"It didn't have anything to do with the captaincy. It had to do with the Covid bubbles. Being under so many bubbles took its toll. It was just too much. I asked for a break; if I can just relax for the T20 series back home and they deemed it a mental [health] break. I wasn't mentally tired, from cricket at least. I was just tired from bubbles. I had enough of them."

South Africa are in command of the St Lucia Test. After Quinton de Kock’s hundred took them to 322, the Proteas reduced West Indies to 82 for 4 in their second innings. West Indies still trail by 143 runs with only six wickets left.

Edited by Sai Krishna
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