Home Actualité internationale World news – DM168 Sport: Brave new era as Bavuma plans to take Proteas to promised land
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World news – DM168 Sport: Brave new era as Bavuma plans to take Proteas to promised land

Temba Bavuma of South Africa during the third game of the KFC T20 International Series 2020 between South Africa and England at the Newlands Cricket Ground in Cape Town on December 1, 2020 © Ryan Wilkisky / BackpagePix

Thirty years after South Africa’s formal return to international cricket -Arena after decades of suspension under apartheid, the country has its first black African captain. Temba Bavuma officially broke new ground on Friday at the SuperSport Park in Centurion.

In many countries that would not be important, but in South Africa it is very important because it is an important symbol that the game is for everyone.

It’s also a symbol that leadership positions are not limited to a few, and more simply, it’s a bold belief of coach Mark Boucher that he needs and will follow the respect of a leading player.

« Me would be lying if I said that [being the first black captain] means nothing to me, « said Bavuma. “I understand the ingrained meaning of everything. I can completely understand why people in our country would celebrate it the way it is. “

Bavuma recently led the Lions to the domestic T20 title and was franchise skipper for the last two seasons.

In 2018/19 the Lions won the national doubles – the first-class series and the T20 title under Bavumas Captain. He also added a century in that victorious T20 final.

So the pedigree is there, the talent is evident, and the natural leadership oozes out of every pore. The only problem is that Bavuma is taking on the role at one of the most difficult times in the history of South African crickets.

Outside the field, Cricket South Africa (CSA) has one crisis after another and on the field the team has problems. The loss of many senior players into retirement in the past two years, combined with a lack of alignment at board level, has not helped.

Now that Boucher has been on the job for almost 16 months and Bavuma and Dean Elgar for the next two years as White Ball and Test Skipper have been confirmed, there is at least some stability, direction and focus.

Bavuma will be the proteas at the International Cricket Council (ICC) Men’s T20 World Championships in 2021 and 2022, as well as at the Lead the ICC Men’s World Championship 2023. Elgar will take over the reins in the next cycle of the ICC World Championship.

« We have always been aware of Temba’s leadership qualities … the way he acts in the squad and the experience he brings », said Graeme Smith, CSA’s cricket director. « The nature of his tactical captain with the Lions and the feedback we received from the squad – from the managers and coaches – were very positive about Temba. »

Under these conditions, Bavuma took over the reins and knows that his job and his future do not depend on the outcome of the current White Ball series against Pakistan. For the first time in a year it doesn’t seem like the captain is a stop gap measure and the results are vital.

« I will be a captain the guys will be looking for to make decisions about and pave the way forward, and that’s exactly what I’ll try, « said Bavuma this week.

 » The work starts on the ground, in the communication and in the chats we have in our relevant groups. The game is more about carrying out all of the plans and communications that we had. « 

It feels like there is a roadmap with an end goal – to become a competitive force in world cricket again. And that will only come from stability and direction.

In many ways, Bavuma’s elevation mirrors the The captain of rugby colleague Siya Kolisi. The bok skipper was handed over in 2018 by coach Rassie Erasmus, who had replaced Allister Coetzee after two of the bleakest years in Springbok history.

Kolisi and Erasmus developed a strong bond focus on winning the 2019 Rugby World Cup. To achieve this goal, short-term pain had to be incurred in order to win in the longer term. Erasmus made it clear that games would be lost as he built up the squad depth and developed a style of play. Kolisi met the public’s expectations with skill and honesty for the first year, and the end result was a glorious night in Yokohama where Kolisi den Webb Ellis Cup won.

Bavuma and Boucher don’t seem to share the natural chemistry of their rugby counterparts, but there is clearly respect and the same ethos of hard work and goal setting.

As Boucher in one of his first roles as Proteas Coach Bavuma for the first three tests against England in the 2019/20 series, he did so with the proviso that Bavuma had to find form at national level.

Only they will know what was said in their private conversations was, but the result was Bavuma piled on runs domestically and Boucher called him back to the international arena. They clearly convinced each other.

Now the partnership needs to grow so that the rest of the team can flourish so that the Proteas can launch a major assault on three white ball world championships over the next two years.

That Winning any of these goals, which seems like an unrealistic goal after losing the last four T20I series, won’t put the team off. Positivity, improvement and development are the keywords in the camp. The rest should follow by gradually improving skills, mentality and fitness. In theory it is easy, but in reality it is more difficult. So the squad needs a strong leader to drive the culture.

« South Africa has always been more than competitive at ODIs, we were number 1 in the world before, » said Bavuma. « As a leader, I’ll just try to define a style of play that we can play in all conditions and at every opportunity. »

« To achieve that, we have to improve mentally and become stronger. I’ll try to inspire the guys and get them into a room where they can perform as well as possible. We want to be aggressive and be able to dominate in all conditions. We definitely want to test ourselves more under conditions that may be “unfavorable” for us. We want to see if we can carry out our token at any time.

« The mood is optimistic and I hope I can lead the team to some wins if we build by 2023. We want to define our style of play. » DM168

This story first appeared in our weekly Daily Maverick 168 newspaper, which is available for free to Pick n Pay Smart Shoppers in these Pick n Pay stores.

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