Newly appointed Proteas captain for the limited-overs formats, Temba Bavuma, is ready to embrace the opportunity of being the country’s first permanent black African captain.
Bavuma was confirmed as the new leader in the shorter formats by Cricket South Africa on Thursday, along with Dean Elgar, who will captain the Test outfit.
Both positions will replace Quinton de Kock, who took over the reigns when Faf du Plessis stepped down last year.
But, Bavuma’s role carries large significance and represents a historic and special day for South African cricket.
‘I understand the deeply rooted significance of it all,’ Bavuma told the media on Thursday afternoon.
‘In being the first black African (cricket) captain in our country – you don’t have to look too far in our history and our political situation in our country – so I can completely understand why people in our country would celebrate it for what it is.
‘I’d be lying if I said it does not make me think of where everything started for me, and how I’ve been able to go through a journey and get to this point. But combined with being known as the first black African captain, I’d also like to be known as someone who led the team very well and created a legacy for himself.’
Bavuma announced himself back in 2016 when he became the first black cricketer to hit a Test century for the Proteas.
He has since gone on to play 44 Test matches for the Proteas, while he has six ODI and eight T20I caps to his name.
The right-hander, though established himself in white-ball cricket over the past 12 months and will lead the team into the upcoming world cups.
‘I was offered the position as captain and it came to me as a surprise, but it was a no-brainer. I don’t think a lot of people would turn down this type of honour and privilege.
‘Obviously there’s anxiety about not knowing what to expect but a lot of comfort comes from the fact that I know my players and the people who have entrusted me with the decision, I draw a lot of confidence from that because those are people of stature.’