South Africa’s limited-overs captain, Temba Bavuma, is adamant there is more inclusivity and equality in the local game now in contrast to how it was in the early 2000s.
The domestic cricket scene has been rocked by allegations of racism, discrimination and undermination as revealed during the ongoing Social Justice and Nation Building (SJN) hearings.
The hearings is a platform for the airing and rebuttals of systemic racism in the local game since unification back in 1991 and have highlighted an alleged culture of exclusivity within the South African national team in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Speaking during his appearance at the SJN on Monday, Bavuma insisted that inclusivity and equality were and still are not a problem within the Proteas set-up since making his debut in 2014.
“In 2021 things are very different to the early 2000s, when you look at it from an exclusivity point of view and how you look at it in terms of guys walking into the team and feeling a lot more comfortable,” he said on Monday.
“When I joined the team in 2014 it wasn’t a big struggle. So, I’d really like to think things are different now than they were in the past. In saying that there’s always good in looking at the past and seeing how best to do things.
“I think the biggest take for me is that you want to create an environment that allows guys to have a strong sense of belonging; that allows guys to be themselves and to express themselves,” Bavuma said.
“I think there has to be that acceptance. We all have different backgrounds which, in turn, shape our perspectives. I think being able to put all of that together and have a space where guys can express themselves and their beliefs is something I’d like to leave behind within this team.
“It starts with having those hard conversations, whether those conversations stem from happenings outside the team [or not]. We are having those hard conversations as a team. We’re putting each other in uncomfortable spaces and positions of vulnerability. Not so that we can expose each other, but just to find a better way going forward.”
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