Temba Bavuma, who became a hero for the disadvantaged by becoming the first black African to score a Test century for the Proteas, is spreading his net wider.
He has been appointed an ambassador for the Coca-Cola Schools T20 Challenge, South Africa’s premier schools cricket tournament, focusing particularly on searching for outstanding young players to be part of the Coca-Cola T20 All-Star Team.
He and and a team of cricket experts, will attend all six of the Coca-Cola Schools T20 Challenge franchise finals in search of outstanding players in the teams that do not qualify for the national finals.
When he made his historic century, against England in 2016, he said it rammed home the significance of the moment, of how a kid from the streets of Langa had cracked the elite barrier.
‘It’s not just me, it’s being a model, an inspiration to black African kids who can have something to aspire to,’ he said at the time. ‘I looked today at the kids who were there for the mini cricket festival at lunch. Half of those kids come from Langa and half of them know my name. Whenever I go back to Langa I know I’m going to have those kids running around me.’
The new addition to the tournament is aimed at spreading the talent search wider. The All-Star team will comprise of 12 players, two from each franchise final, and will play in a curtain-raiser match against a CSA Development Hub team during the Coca-Cola Schools T20 Challenge National Finals.
‘I’m very excited to join Coca-Cola on this journey of searching for some of South Africa’s excelling youth cricketers,’ said Bavuma. ‘I’m incredibly proud to be associated with the Coca-Cola Schools T20 Challenge and as a player, I believe that this is a great platform for young cricketers to showcase their skills and gain valuable experience. I look forward to seeing all the talent that will be unearthed this year.’
The Coca-Cola Schools T20 Challenge is fast becoming synonymous with showcasing the best, up and coming in South African cricket talent. Since its inception, the tournament has seen Proteas superstars, Quinton de Kock, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, and Lungi Ngidi, as well as recently appointed Proteas ODI captain Aiden Markram.
The three-day national finals will take place at the University of Pretoria Cricket Oval from 16-18 March, and will see the six franchise winners, as well as two of the best schools out of CSA’s Focus Schools programme, battle it out to be named the 2018 Coca-Cola Schools T20 Challenge champions.
To engage with the tournament online, search #WhereHeroesAreMade on Twitter or visit @CocaCola_ZA and @OfficialCSA