Proteas captain Temba Bavuma has explained his emotional celebration after scoring a century against England in Bloemfontein on Sunday.
Bavuma, who had a poor run for the Proteas in T20 cricket last year and was not bought at the SA20 auction, scored 109 off 102 balls as the Proteas chased down England’s 342-7 with five balls to spare in the second ODI.
READ: Bavuma century sets up Proteas’ series-clinching win
After reaching the milestone, Bavuma leaped in the air before punching his name on the back of his shirt and the Proteas emblem on the front.
“It was quite emotional getting to that moment,” he said at the post-match press conference. “The celebration wasn’t planned. It was a reminder to myself and to everyone that I am still here and I still deserve to be where I am.”
That is a special knock from Temba Bavuma! 🙌
It's his third ODI 💯in 22 matches – his second as a captain 🏏
📺 Stream #SAvENG live: https://t.co/0BMWdeFwIB pic.twitter.com/UDAEWIiT1S
— SuperSport 🏆 (@SuperSportTV) January 29, 2023
Bavuma admitted the intense criticism had gotten to him.
“Emotionally it can be draining and it can be taxing. As much as you try to block it out, it does affect you. The biggest one is when it affects people around you – your family. As a player, I have my way of dealing with it. It is a part of the journey.”
HIGHLIGHTS: Proteas vs England (2nd ODI)
Bavuma said taking a break from the game during the SA20 and a long chat with new Proteas Test coach Shukri Conrad in Bloemfontein had benefited him.
“Being out of action for the last two weeks, being at home and away from the game, has helped me. Physically, I’m maybe not in the best shape but mentally I am. I’ve come in a bit more open towards the team and how we would like to go about things.
“The conversation I had with Shukri helped,” he added. “It was just being vulnerable to the coach about where I see myself and how I feel about everything. He helped me clear through all the nonsense that was in my head and helped me get ready for the series.
“It was just him giving me an ear, hearing me out and validating the feelings that I’ve had. The biggest thing is getting your mind into the right state to play the game.
“Shuks is not a therapist. What I enjoyed was the honesty and the clarity that he gave in the chat.”