Temba Bavuma is on the cover of the new SA Cricket magazine, on sale this week!
Remember when Bavuma was pigeon-holed as a Test player because he didn’t have the brute power to clear the fences in limited-overs cricket? Yup, us too. It’s a storyline rather familiar with South African sport, though – judging a book by its cover. How often has a rugby talent been denied the opportunity to play consistently at the highest level because he was deemed ‘too small’: Brent Russell, Breyton Paulse, Gio Aplon, Cheslin Kolbe. The list goes on. Cricket’s version is Bavuma.
Standing at ‘only 1.6m’, Bavuma was categorised as a ‘diminutive middle-order Test batsman’ for the Proteas but on the recent tour of India he was given a chance in ‘pyjamas’ and showed he has the technique and ability to perform admirably in white-ball cricket. He even cleared the ropes with the last hit of the match to help the Proteas win the third T20 International.
He was last on the cover of SA Cricket magazine three years ago and we feel he’s earned his right to be our cover star for this issue, where we touch on his evolution from Test whites to limited-overs coloured clothing. Some are even touting him as a future captain across all three formats. Just who would have predicted that a few short years ago?
This issue has quite a ‘local’ domestic feel to it. With the Mzansi Super League just around the corner, we thought we’d introduce you, the reader, to some of the lesser lights in the domestic game. Ryan Rickelton, of the Jozi Stars, and David Bedingham, of the Cape Town Blitz, are two young men you will hear a lot about in the MSL and you can get to know them better before the tournament.
We also sat down with the lady behind the Proteas Men’s team – their media manager for the past decade, Lerato Malekutu. Normally at SA Cricket we believe the players are those who need to be the focal point, but we could not pass up the opportunity to tap into her experience and go down memory lane for the 10 years she was part of the environment.
We have also decided to address reality in this issue. We wouldn’t be doing our jobs if we didn’t also have a look at the things that are weighing down the game in South Africa. One of the major millstones is the ongoing ‘handbags at five paces’ between Cricket South Africa and the SA Cricketers’ Association. A solution has to be found for a saga that has been going on for too long – with the issue of money, as it almost always is, the root of the problem.
You’ll also find fascinating the interview with a man who is tipped to have a big role in future players’ association discussions, Omphile Ramela. ‘Omphile has been impressive for us because he’s stuck his head above the parapet. There are past Saca presidents who wouldn’t have done that,’ says Saca CEO Tony Irish of the 31-year-old.
Still in the ‘serious’ vein, while we look at the retirement of Hashim Amla and Dale Steyn (the latter from Tests), we also offer a sobering insight into what happens when a cricketer retires? When the party stops and the lights come on? For many it’s a scary scenario to face so early in life.
Our international features take us to Australia where we look at Steve Smith’s ‘revival’ and how he put the ball-tampering disgrace to one side and is now back as the best Test batsman in the world, while we stop off in England to take a look at Stuart Broad, one of the finest fast bowlers in the past decade and who we might well be seeing in South African stadiums at the end of the year.
We also chat with Russell Domingo, the former Proteas coach who has been handed the reins at Bangladesh in what is another endorsement of the international quality of South African cricket coaches.
This, and so much more, forms part of our issue. Enjoy the read – and also be sure to follow and engage with us on our website and social media platforms. – Editor