Bavuma: ‘I understand the deep-rooted significance of being the first black African captain’

05 March 2021 - 09:53
Quinton de Kock and Temba Bavuma celebrate the dismissal of Kusal Perera.
Quinton de Kock and Temba Bavuma celebrate the dismissal of Kusal Perera.
Image: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Temba Bavuma is fully aware of the significance and responsibility of being the first black African to captain the Proteas‚ and at the same time he also knows there is going to be immense pressure on him to perform.

Bavuma‚ who was the first black African to score a Test century for South Africa, against England in Cape Town in 2016‚ was on Thursday named as T20 and ODI captain for the Proteas.

Reflecting on the news of his appointment‚ Bavuma said he understands why people are celebrating the moment.

“I’d be lying if I said that it doesn’t mean anything to me‚” he said.

“I understand the deep-rooted significance of it all in me being the first black African captain. I guess you don’t need to look too far in terms of our history and the political situation in our country.

“I can completely understand why people in our country will want to celebrate it for what it is.

“I’d be lying if I said that it doesn’t make me think of where things started for me. I have been able to go through that journey to get to this point where I am.

“As much as I am the first black African captain‚ from a playing perspective I still have strong ambitions of things that I still like to achieve. I would also like to be known as someone who led the team very well and created a legacy.”

Bavuma went on to say that there will be pressure for him to juggle not only the mammoth responsibility of being captain‚ but also to excel in his individual performances.

“Fortunately I do have experience of being captain, having captained at domestic level and I do understand the pressure that comes with being the captain. To be honest‚ it is a scary and daunting prospect, but at the same time there is a lot of excitement and whether I am ready or not time will tell.

“I am willing and committed to the whole process and the journey and I would like to lead the guys to something special. I am willing to learn and grow in the position.”

For a long time‚ Bavuma was classified as a red-ball cricketer until he was given an opportunity and scored a century on his ODI debut against Ireland at Willowmoore Park in 2016.

“I never thought that captaining South Africa in T20s and ODIs was something that was realistic to be completely honest with you. But the ambition to play white ball cricket has always been there.

“Two years ago I would never have thought that down the line I would be sitting in the position that I am in now. Over the past few years‚ I could see growth in my limited overs game and it was evident in my performances.

“I guess it was only a matter of time before those opportunities came about my way.”


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