South African Cricketer's Association chief executive officer Andrew Breetzke said Cricket South Africa should have dealt with the taking the knee matter before the tournament instead of raising it on the world stage.
On Tuesday morning, the CSA board sent out a directive that all the Proteas players should take the knee ahead of the West Indies game in commemoration of Black Lives Matter.
Proteas wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock took exception to this and chose to sit out the game that South Africa won by eight wickets in Dubai.
OPINION | Tuesday's drama in Dubai shows that Cricket South Africa has been unable to create an environment where players are comfortable with issues such as 'take the knee' and must force its will onto them, writes @PieterDuToit https://t.co/DeBPykA0h0— News24 (@News24) October 27, 2021
Breetzke, testifying at the Cricket for Social Justice and Nation-building hearings on Wednesday, said the crisis that unfolded in the build-up to the game could have been avoided if CSA's board dealt with the matter effectively last year.
"The disappointment of where we are now is that this issue should have been dealt with a while ago," Breetzke said.
"It shouldn't have been done so by the board in the middle of an International Cricket Council event, in front of house and has developed into a crisis that needs to be managed.
"Some players have not taken the knee since December last year and it should have been dealt with back then and it wouldn't have been a crisis.
"From a SACA perspective, I would like to see the players having a uniform approach in taking the knee, but at the same time, I'm not going to instruct the players to take a knee.
"My preference would have been that there was a uniform approach to the taking of the knee."
CSA & Quinton de Kock fallout
Breetzke said the Proteas have taken big steps from a diversity perspective under the leadership of Dean Elgar (Test) and Temba Bavuma (Limited-overs) and felt the current group is the most diverse.
"This team has had more culture and diversity engagement than any other team has had, specifically under the leadership of Temba Bavuma and Dean Elgar," Breetzke said
"They have had the hard conversations. I'm aware of that and I have had conversations with them.
"We have had the conversations around diversity, players understanding of BLM, players understanding of taking a knee and what it means to be in a team with people of different backgrounds."