• ‘I’m black and that’s my skin’

    Proteas batsman Temba Bavuma has implored fans and critics alike to recognise the positivity of transformation in South African cricket.

    Bavuma was dropped from the Test XI earlier this year, but included for Tuesday’s first ODI against England at Newlands. He struck a solid 98, as the hosts won by seven wickets – and claimed an early lead in the three-match series.

    READ: Proteas win first ODI after De Kock ton

    ‘It has been hard, and I think it’s not so much the dropping part. All players get dropped and everyone goes through slumps of not scoring well,’ said Bavuma.

    ‘The awkwardness and uncomfortability from my side is when you’re thrown into talks of transformation and all of that. At the end of the day, yes, I’m black and that’s my skin, but I play cricket because I love it.

    ‘I’d like to think that the reason I’m in the team is because of performances that I’ve put forward from a franchise side and for the national team.

    ‘The discomfort was there, having to navigate myself around all those types of talks. Players get dropped. I won’t be the last guy to get dropped.

    ‘The one thing that kind of eats me is that when you do well, transformation is not spoken about but when you do badly, transformation is thrown at the top of the agenda. I’ve got a serious problem with that. You’ve got to be able to take the good with the bad.

    ‘If transformation is bad when black African players are not doing well, then when they’re doing well let’s also recognise transformation for what it’s done.

    ‘It comes from the media, it comes from fans – it’s just there.’

    The talented right-hander averages under 31 after 40 Tests. His burgeoning ODI career has already yielded 259 runs at an average of over 87.

    Photo: BackPagePix

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